The future of the dental profession and the NHS will be debated by leading industry figures at a convention later this month.
Why the NHS Needs Dentistry
coincides with the 50th anniversary of the health service. It is part of the British Dental Association’s National Dental Conference to be held on April 23 in Harrogate.
The seminar aims to examine the NHS’s relationship with dentistry. The BDA, in collaboration with the Department of Health Studies at the University of York, has organised the conference to bring dentists into contact with those responsible for health planning. The discussion will be chaired by Niall Dickson, the BBC’s social affairs editor.
A spokesman for the BDA said: “The Association is keen to stimulate debate on the future of dentistry, and to raise the profile of NHS dentistry – which was mentioned only briefly in the Government’s NHS white paper.”
He added: “The seminar will be asking some provocative and controversial questions, examining such issues of what health commissioners want from dentistry and what will shape public spending on dentistry in the future.” Martin Fallowfield, chairman of the BDA Independent Practice Committee and Annual Meeting Organising Committee, will talk on A Private/Public Partnership Vision
. Fallowfield works at the Cathedral Square Dental Practice, Peterborough, where 95% of business is privately funded.
He believes that practising outside the health service has allowed the firm more freedom to carry out independent research and build business strategies.
“Working away from the health service has given us the time and money to find more out about our patient base and let us do things like construct our healthcare target. We’ve looked at how we are as a practice and set our own goals,” he said.