From the Editor


BSDHT’s flag ship annual event always delivers! I personally have never regretted being there. The programme is diverse and current, the trade show is amazing and innovative and meeting up with old friends, and making new, is always fun. This
year there is an organised dinner and dancing on Friday evening. Not that we have ever needed to be organised to dance and party the night away!

Often because we are all so very busy in our personal and professional lives it is sometimes easy to decide that the effort to attend the OHC is just too much - the travel, annual leave, child care, financial impact… However, I would urge those of you who may be still undecided that this is really core to being professional. I believe that we should all attend the BSDHT General Assembly of Members, whenever possible. The costs can also be set against your tax bill, whether you are employed or self employed.

We are an independent profession and our professional identity was hard won by our predecessors. This work continues apace. The
President and the Executive Team, supported by Council, continue to engage with policy makers at all levels to ensure that we have a voice and, vitally, it is heard! We have a degree of professional autonomy that many former generations of hygienists and
therapists could never have imagined. Remember, Direct Access only came into law five years ago, after long and challenging negotiations.

The younger generations of hygienists and therapists, in particular, appear to attend in smaller numbers. Possibly because of all that is available on social media and online. However, once again I would urge you to come along. BSDHT needs you as much as you need BSDHT! You are the future and will need to become engaged in the issues that impact on how you practise in the future. One such example is our ongoing campaign for prescribing rights - just to be able to do our job! Another is the New Contract being rolled out with prevention at its heart - the core in everything we do. 

We remain an evolving profession, and that is vital. I would urge you all to get involved in your professional organisation, on any level. Stand for office at your regional group, or just offer to do something to help out. Build your BSDHT support network and widen your circle of friends and colleagues in your area.

We are a friendly and opinionated body, collectively and individually. Bring your ideas to the Executive and Publications teams in Telford. You will have the opportunity to voice your opinions, particularly about the publications - visit our stand, talk to us, tell us what you need and take our short survey.

Also new to conference this year is: Netty on the Sofa. Annette Matthews will be available on the BSDHT stand to chat through any concerns you have. Netty has already amassed a wealth of experience including dealing with such thorny issues as communicating with the tax man and negotiating for better working conditions. She is particularly keen to meet anyone
who is about to qualify or has recently qualified.

However, no matter how long you have been practising, if you feel that you have just lost your sparkle, or have something to say, then do come along.

Join us all in Telford and be an active part of the dynamic and innovative body of individuals that is BSDHT. You won’t regret it!

Heather Lewis

Editor, Dental Health


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