Representing the whole professionNews
Posted by: The Probe 6th December 2020
Dentistry has always been a dynamic profession, with opportunities to diversify and progress in various different ways. Individuals can choose to develop their clinical skills to specialise in specific disciplines, or they might move into adjacent roles within the practice. There is a chance to take on jobs in business management, infection control maintenance or consultancy, or professionals can transition into teaching or other academic positions. For clinicians, there is also the choice of working for someone else or setting up their own practice, all in addition to the option of providing NHS or private dentistry.
With such a multifarious modern profession, it is crucial that everyone has access to the opportunities, training and support they need to progress and to fulfil their potential. This also means that everyone needs fair representation when it comes to policy-making decisions, industry regulations and educational events.
The British Association of Private Dentistry (BAPD) believes there is room for improvement when it comes to fair representation of individuals involved in the delivery of private dentistry across the UK. BAPD Chair of Trade and Sponsorship, Dr Rachel Derby, shares her reasons for getting involved:
“The COVID-19 crisis was the main catalyst for the creation of the BAPD, though the idea of it had been around for much longer than this. My involvement came about as a result of my feelings of worry and resentment for the way that the private dental sector was treated during and after lockdown. While it was, of course, important to support NHS dentistry, I felt that the private sector – which makes up a significant proportion of the profession today – was almost completely ignored. The lack of direction, guidance and help from the regulators and government for private dentists and practices was very disappointing. I was motivated to join the BAPD as an organisation willing and able to stand up for professionals in the private dental field, including dentists, dental hygienists, technicians and even trade members. I think many colleagues felt the same – we didn’t like what was happening and wanted to do something about it. The BAPD provided a means to unite and use one voice.”
The BAPD, while still a very young organisation, has made quite an impact already. It has gained a significant amount of support, with over 10,800 members on the dedicated Facebook page after just 6 months of operation. Its rapid growth may be attributed to several factors, including the founding members’ passion and drive to be proactive. Among the projects it is working on right now is a petition to see a dental professional take the head position at the GDC. The aim is to encourage greater confidence in the regulator from the profession, while also giving the council greater insight into the practicalities of dentistry today. The petition can be accessed online.
To maintain momentum, the BAPD will be collaborating with the British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show 2021 to create a platform for further discussion on the matters affecting the private dental sector. The BAPD Private Dentistry Theatre will be a brand-new feature of the event, about which Rachel adds:
“We are the new kids on the block, but we want to build on what we have achieved so far and continue representing private dentistry. We hope to bring something new to the conference, injecting energy and motivating individuals to get involved.
“The BAPD Private Dentistry Theatre will provide a platform for people to speak and be heard. We are planning to present a combination of practice-orientated lectures and debates, discussions and Q&A sessions. It will be highly interactive, with BAPD members offering their insights and advice, as well as creating an opportunity for others to explore both the benefits and challenges of modern private dentistry. We especially look forward to seeing you all at the after-show drinks!”
Regardless of where you stand on this debate, the important thing is that everyone has a chance to say their piece and be represented. The British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show has always been an inclusive event and this is just one more way in which it provides learning, networking and development for more professionals in the industry.
Aside from the BAPD Private Dentistry Theatre, the 2021 conference will present lecture programmes for each member of the dental team, with hours of enhanced CPD delivered by world-class speakers. There will also be the chance to finally (and safely) catch up with friends and colleagues, while discovering the very latest innovations available from hundreds of dental suppliers and manufacturers. There really is something for everyone in modern dentistry!
For more information or to support the BAPD, visit https://www.bapd.org.uk/support-us/
The British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show 2021 will be held on Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd May, Birmingham NEC, co-located with DTS.
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