How many times do we talk about skill mix and utilising the whole team? I am passionate about the need for a more cohesive working environment for
all team members. BSDHT is no different. Looking back at my two year tenure and at what we have achieved, this has been a great team effort. As
President you do not know everything and it is important to acknowledge your limitations and weaknesses, and be able to call on those people who
do have the knowledge and skill set.
Believe me, I have definitely utilised the Executive team and our members’ knowledge and skills. To all of them, I am very grateful. Our newest BSDHT team members are Sharon and Selina, our administration team - although they have both been with us since our move in June 2017. Sharon and Selina are the back bone of the Society and having them on board has made such a difference - they are a formidable pair that BSDHT could not do without! Although employed by BSDHT, its obvious that they are passionate and care for the Society as much as we do. Its great to have their input and thoughts from a non clinical perspective. They have also made my job a very different role compared to previous Presidents, who would have been bogged down with day to day administration instead of being the face of the Society.
One of BSDHTs biggest investments for the future was to move into our own premises in June 2017. We knew this would make financial sense in the long term and would save money. Helen Westley will present at the OHC AGM how we have achieved this. Once settled into the office I, along with Executive and the Administration team, have spent the last eighteen months looking at the infrastructure of BSDHT and how we can better provide and support members and regional groups.
This has been a steady process. Providing more support for regional groups and committee members means that we have brought a lot of the paper work, CPD certificates, feedback forms and invoicing etc into the office. This ensures we have a paper trail of everything we do,including working with the trade, other organisations and our ongoing projects. With the introduction of eCPD, having all this in place has been invaluable. In mid October we were able to employ another full time member of staff to support Sharon and Selina as the Society grows. Over the years BSDHT has had to financially invest into the organisation. This was to ensure member benefits multiply, and allow for investment into the infrastructure, such as the website and database. At the beginning of my tenure Julie and I discussed that we would now try and look at the outgoings and at ways in which we could save money.Again this has been a great team effort. We are delighted that we made a surplus from the Harrogate OHC and our end of year accounts have also shown a surplus. This will ensure that we can continually invest in the Society to best support our members, but it will also enable us to continue representing the profession across the various platforms.
BSDHTs joint project with British Association of Dental Therapy (BADT) is still ongoing and we are three years into the project. As both the Society and Association see their third Presidents installed since the start of the project, it is very apparent that the right decision was made in having Michaela ONeill and Fiona Sandom, immediate past presidents, continue with this project. It would have been very difficult to hand over as each President changed. I am personally grateful for all their hard work on this and I know it has been challenging at times. With fingers crossed I look forward hopefully to being able to treat my patients without the need for a prescription for certain prescription only medicines (POMs). Making mine and the whole professions daily practice easier. Working on the joint project with BADT has ensured a closer working relationship and I am sure Julie Deverick and Debbie McGovern will continue this moving forward.
All members received a ballot paper in October to approve the BSDHT Council recommendations. One of those recommendations is that a ￡1 be added to the membership subscription, to be ring fenced for the new BSDHT Benevolent Fund. I attended a meeting in January 2018 at the Healthcare Forum, which is made up of representatives from other healthcare professions such as Optometrists, Physiotherapists, Veterinary Surgeons, Dentists, Chiropractors and Pharmacists. What became apparent to me is that many other health care professions have such a fund to help their members in a time of need. I looked into this and as a profession we have nothing that would support us. I felt that this is something we could do as a Society and support our members. This was discussed at Exec and over the past nine months Sarah Murray, who took on this project, has produced all the relevant paper work required and the process for application. I have to thank Sarah for all her hard work on this and believing in the project. It was something I felt quite strongly about and I hope this will help a member in the future in a time of need.
I have to say thank you to a few people who have been instrumental in supporting me through my tenure. Firstly to Paul and Karen Swanson who are my employers. They have allowed me the time off to fulfil my duties as President, with no questions asked, even though weeks can go by and I actually never work my full four days in practice. To all the team in the office who have eased the pressure over the two years. To our PR team at EK Communications who have continued to raise the profile of BSDHT. The Executive team, Publications, Council, Regional Groups who are all integral part of the team in the running of BSDHT. Particularly to Julie Deverick and Helen Westley who have been a huge support and advisors, for that I am grateful. I also have to thank Ian Dunn, BSDHT Vice President who has supported not only me, but the Society and the profession. To my husband and daughter who have said they are looking forward to having a conversation with me and know I am actually listening. Finally to you the members it has been an honour to represent you. Good Luck Julie, you will be amazing.
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