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Thursday 11 January 2018

January 2018 Blog Post - Pippa Blacklock

Pippa Blacklock

The BAOS Annual Scientific conferences continue to go from strength to strength as demonstrated by the recent conference held in Belfast, Northern Ireland on the 27 to 29th of September 2017.  The event was held in the iconic Europa Hotel in the city centre.

The 12th conference was opened by BAOS President Professor Tara Renton and was attended by the most delegates ever with 410 attending from as far away as Australia and America for the 3 days.  BAOS council also welcomed 60 final year Dental students from Belfast Dental School and 20 Foundation Dentists from the Northern Irish scheme on Thursday and 50 Dental nurses on Wednesday to the conference.

The academic content was delivered by a range of nationally and internationally renowned speakers and covered a full spectrum of Oral Surgery practice and controversies from clinical leadership to neuro-linguistic programming and the anxious patient to inferior alveolar nerve injury and the Cardiology/Oral Surgery interface.  All the speakers were knowledgeable and engaging with some good Irish humour thrown in for good measure in some presentations.

BAOS received the most ever applications for the open paper and poster presentations and 30 open papers and 50 posters were selected from these.  They were of a very high standard and covered a broad range of Oral Surgery practice.  The open paper prize was won by Julia Palmer and poster prize by Tamsin Cooper and Alka Saksena.  The peoples’ poster, voted for by delegates, was won by Jasveen Matharu and Dipali Amin et al.  Winners of the audit and research paper prizes submitted before the conference were: Katy Martin and Shrina Nathwani, Ciro Gilvetti, Sarah McKernon and M C Balmer.

There was a palpable energy and buzz throughout the 3 days in the conference halls as delegates discussed the presentations, caught up with old colleagues and made new friends in the queue for lunch.  A feature of all the BAOS conferences is their open, welcoming and friendly atmosphere.  For the second year the conference was paperless with delegates using the BAOS conference app to guide their choice of lectures and to inform them of venues and events and speakers.

BAOS council is very grateful to all our sponsors who were able to demonstrate and discuss a variety of products related to Oral Surgery throughout the conference.  Particular thanks go to our gold sponsor NSK and silver sponsor 3M and Belfast City Council and Visit Belfast with their help and support for the conferences inaugural trip to Northern Ireland.

Belfast city centre was an amazing place to explore both with its new and old quarters.  The city welcomed delegates to evening social events at the magnificent City Hall for the formal black tie event and prize-giving and SS Nomadic, tender to the Titanic, for an informal evening of music and dancing.

Comments from delegates evaluations’ include; Excellent conference, well organised and fantastic speakers’, ‘Had an excellent time professionally and socially.  One of the best conferences ever’.  ‘This was the best organised BAOS conference I have attended.  From the venue to the food and from the course content to the calibre of the speakers I cannot praise the Northern Ireland team higher.’


Amanda Beresford, Catriona O’Hare, conference organisers and the BAOS Administrators and Council must be commended for the huge amount of time and effort they put in the deliver such a successful conference

The BAOS conference was closed by the incoming BAOS President Rebecca Hierons.  Rebecca and the BAOS council look forward to welcoming you to the next BAOS conference to be held in Edinburgh 26th to 28th of September 2018 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Wednesday 22 November 2017

November 2017 - Rachel Evans blog post

Living with dementia

My Dad was the type of man whom held the attention of a room full of people with his charismatic chat and charm. He was significantly slowed by a massive stroke 20 years ago, but he was still a conversationalist and social individual. He was surrounded by family and friends celebrating his 80th year, when not three months later he was poorly in hospital with very limited communication skills and suffering episodes of acute confusion and states of paranoid delusions.

Our life was changed once more and we had to adapt to an entirely different set of social rules, trying to understand the nature and functioning of care homes and my Dad’s polar personalities.

Now, quality time spent with my Dad is a visit when he hasn’t snarled at me or attempted to hit or bite me. This is the very sad reality of dementia what I had not fully appreciated. I used to think of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease as a sad process that steals an individuals memory of loved ones; but allows them to nostalgically regress to a time of childhood happiness.  My Dad can be passively content or very agitated and aggressive with no obvious trigger factor, making providing care very challenging to the careers that do an amazing job within the care home.

Consent for such an individual is obviously a difficult process. Clearly with a rapidly progressive dementia unfortunately no prior written directive for care was produced and capacity to consent is now lacking. Consent for tooth brushing or meeting basic needs has to be carefully negotiated. Other care has to be provided under the principle of Best Interest. The legalities may be different across the UK with regard to consent and assessing patient capacity, but the fundamental principles remain the same when applying the concept of providing treatment within the patient’s best interest. 

With an estimated 850,000 individuals living with dementia in the UK, health professionals need to be confident in their understanding of the legal framework and ethical standards that will help them to make the correct treatment decisions for their patients. We can offer insight into my Dad’s previous health care decisions and aspirations of how he wished to be treated, but ultimately those providing treatment have to consider these facts along with the risk of monitoring or providing treatment and the urgency of any care intervention.

If my Dad were to require an extraction he would need a general anaesthetic, necessitating a multidisciplinary team to weigh up the risk of anaesthetic, clinical holding, admission to hospital and balance this against the benefit of treatment.  A formal best interest meeting would enable discussions to take place and I am sure this would be a difficult decision for us all to reach. Without family, an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate would be allocated to be the decision maker in England and Wales to decide upon treatment within the patient’s best interest. In Scotland an appropriately trained and qualified practitioner can issue a Certificate of Incapacity lasting for up to 3 years, enabling specific treatment to be carried out for an individual.

My Dad may be lost in a confusing and sometimes distressing place within his mind, but we still love him dearly and unconditionally. However, those providing care may find him difficult and agitated, but it is imperative that he is still treated with kindness and compassion and that they remember that he is not an aggressive man but someone suffering from a destructive disease process.

Friday 27 October 2017

October Blog - Welcoming the new President

From the outgoing President….Tara Renton

It has been an amazing privilege to represent BAOS and Council over the last two years. I cannot thank the Council members enough for their extra-ordinary commitment and energy - unfunded and on top of busy professional and personal lives. Our past lead Administrator Roger developed sound foundations in the infrastructure of the Association, further built on by our new admin team Sophie with Rita…my sincere thanks.

BAOS’s success continues with ever-expanding membership, larger and more impressive conferences and an established national and emerging international profile.

This success comes with added challenges and as a result we have undertaken both an external and financial review during my Presidency. This has provided us with strategy to continue to build on our success. We have identified additional needs with an improved admin team structure and look to develop sub-committees and perhaps a funded Chairmanship to bolster the Association’s visibility in policy and international work.

The Regional Reps continue to provide exciting study day programmes and we are always looking for enthusiastic individuals to support this activity. We need 3 new council members and will be appointing the next President elect from Council over the next month. DO not be afraid of stepping up to the mark, the BAOS Council is an amazing team supporting a vibrant and exciting Association.

Rebecca your new President will, I have no doubt, build on the BAOS success and I am excited to be working with her on this journey.

…and the incoming President, Rebecca Hierons!

What an amazing meeting we had in Belfast this year. A record number of delegates, outstanding speakers and fantastic social events – plus the open papers and posters were of a really high standard.  My sincere thanks again to Amanda Beresford and Catriona O’Hare for organising such a fantastic conference.

I was absolutely delighted to take over the Presidential baton at the conference from Tara who has done a wonderful job as President over the last two years. She is an amazingly dedicated, talented and hard-working individual and I will try very hard to live up to her high standards.

Looking ahead, Tara and Maria Devine have organised the first ever BAOS patient safety day on Thursday December 7th – ‘SAFE AS HOUSES: Patient safety is the cornerstone of high quality care’. This is to be held at King’s College London and there are some terrific speakers lined up. This is an extremely topical subject and I believe it is the first time a full teaching day has ever been dedicated to the crucial aspect of patient safety in oral surgery. I shall certainly be there and it would be great to see you there too.

It is an enormous honour and privilege to be BAOS President for the next two years and I will endeavour, along with Council, to work hard and continue to build on our past successes, develop and drive the Association forward into what I hope will be a bright future for all our members.

Meanwhile I wish everyone a happy Halloween, a safe November 5th and a peaceful black Friday!

Tuesday 29 August 2017

August 2017 - Rhian Jones blog

Another annual conference is on the horizon as I write this and the AGM will be held as usual. It’s always heartening to see so many members of BAOS attend the AGM but I know it’s not possible for everyone. Therefore, I felt this article was a good opportunity to discuss the new annual membership fee structure that will be proposed for 2018 during the AGM. Also I’d like to remind the membership of all of the benefits of belonging to BAOS as well giving you an insight to the ‘behind the scenes’ work that Council members undertake on behalf of the Specialty.


The reason for proposing a different fee structure is that over recent years we have found a significant proportion of our administration team’s time has been taken up with keeping our membership databases up to date.  Some members choose to renew their membership annually via cheque or Paypal payments rather than via direct debit. Direct debit membership fees are simple to monitor and require very little administrative input. Members who pay via cheque or Paypal require more administrative input. Those who renew their membership in January are relatively easy to manage but some members forget to renew straight away or renew when they apply to attend the annual conference. Those members take a lot more time as they have to be removed from the database at the end of January when they haven’t renewed and the administration team has to re-enter their details once the membership payment has been received.


To reflect this increased administration we have decided to propose the following fee structure. An annual membership paid via direct debit will cost £150. An annual membership paid via Paypal or cheque will cost £170. In an effort to support our trainees and newly qualified dentists we offer a half price membership fee for anyone in a Specialist Training Post, a Dental Core Trainee or Foundation Trainee role.


So, what does being a member of BAOS get you? Firstly, your membership fee allows the Council Members to work on behalf of the Specialty.


The Council meet 4 times a year to discuss ongoing issues, assess the outcome of any meetings that have been attended and plan ongoing strategy. Our first and foremost aim is the continued promotion of Oral Surgery in all Sectors of Dentistry and to foster the younger generation of Oral Surgeons that are coming through the ranks. We are actively seeking support to increase NTN numbers and have been working alongside the SAC to try to ensure that recruitment to an Oral Surgery Specialist Trainee post is a fairer process through the development of National Recruitment.


Many Council Members have additional roles within Council, for example, President, Secretary or Treasurer as well as being involved in sub-committees such as the Primary Care Group, Secondary Care Group, Website development, Editor of the Oral Surgery Journal, Social Media representative, Sponsorship liaison, Regional Representative Liaison etc.


All of these roles are carried out alongside our normal day-to-day jobs. All council members give freely of their time and the only recompense we have from BAOS is reimbursement of travel expenses.


Secondly, the Oral Surgery Journal continues to go from strength to strength and a recent membership survey has confirmed how highly valued it is. In a continued effort to ensure we are providing value for money for our members we asked whether you would prefer an online journal rather than a paper copy but the response was a resounding “no!”.


Thirdly, the organization of the Annual Conference which is always very well attended with on average over 300 delegates. The Council work very hard to ensure the Scientific Program is interesting, varied, topical & up-to-date. We are already planning the 2019 conference and 2018’s timetable is almost complete.


All of this work wouldn’t be possible without our dedicated administration staff who provide invaluable support to all that we do. BAOS has recently undergone a financial review as Council felt it prudent to have a third party look over our incomings and outgoings and highlight areas for improvement. The findings were confirmed that as an association BAOS is performing well but as we have grown some of our expenses have increased, such as more administrative support, an increased number of meetings to attend, an increase in our journal costs etc. Also with more delegates attending the conference we have had to look for larger venues which inevitably cost more per delegate than the very reasonable fee we were being charged by the Edinburgh College.


Lastly, another finding of the report was that BAOS represented excellent value for money given that members were entitled to a substantial discount on the conference fee, were able to attend Regional Study Days at reduced costs, were provided with the journal and on top of that had access to the wealth of information and teaching videos available on the BAOS website.


I hope this article has provided useful information into the current situation with BAOS and explained the reasons behind the proposed change to our membership fee structure. Furthermore, I hope that some of you may be curious as to exactly what goes on at Council & I would really encourage you to put yourself forward as Regional Representatives or for election as a Council Member because as an organization we need the continued input of our membership to keep pushing us forward!

Saturday 1 July 2017

July 2017 Blog Post - Pippa Blacklock

It was with some trepidation that I attended to the recent BAOS joint Council and Regional Representatives training day in London.

I was looking forward to meeting up with our fantastic BAOS reps who do such an amazing job organising Oral Surgery study days all across the British Isles, I was eager to catch up on OS news, national politics and training issues from my Council colleagues. So why the anxiety? As a digital immigrant my concern lay in my general ignorance and fearfulness about the training days subject matter 'digital professionalism'.

I need not have worried as the course as delivered by the thoroughly engaging and enthusiastic Bernadette John who was able to cater to the 'mixed abilities' in the room from the IT whizzes to the digital natives and absolute Luddites at the other end of the spectrum. She impressed on us that the attitudes and skills of all these group where vital to the effective and safe use of social media particularly amongst healthcare professionals.

So what is digital professionalism? It is the 'competence or values expected of a professional when engaged in social or digital communication'. 

For us as Oral Surgeons this relates to anything we do online whether it is work emails, google searches, online dental forums or social Instagram photos and Facebook correspondence. Because we are deemed professionals and have contact with patients our digital actions are liable to particular scrutiny.

Bernadette stressed the value and importance of the appropriate use of social media for us as individuals and for BAOS as an organisation. But I suggest you heed her words of warning that you consider everything that you write online as potentially public – the anonymous blog or Twitter account of today can be readily exposed and associated with the author tomorrow and forever!

She has kindly shared some top digital professionalism tips with you:

- Review privacy settings on your social media profiles and accounts regularly as they can change allowing material that was originally private into the public domain

- Social media should not be used as a way of raising concerns or whistle blowing

- It is best to avoid online discussions about patients or anything professional on Facebook and all online discussions around patient care must be anonymised and should be restricted to specific professional online forums and chatrooms

- Resist the urge to chart your exhaustion and lack of sleep with a tooth ache, sleepless baby, or late night socialising on any social media – it may be used to evidence that you were below par in the workplace the following day!

- Never accept Facebook friend requests from patients – and if you can  - don’t accept them from close work colleagues or your boss either!

- Resist the urge to take photos of others and publish them on social channels without permission and make sure that everyone knows to ask your permission before they make and publish photos of you!

- Social media is a powerful way to create a reputation – be sure you are in control and consciously creating and curating the material to be found about you online 

- If a student or patient posts negative feedback or comment about you online, consider it as an opportunity to showcase your outstanding patient care and never show aggression

- Be aware that EXIF data – including geographical co-ordinates, date, time, make and model of device on which the photo was taken, are often embedded in the images that we create on our mobile devices and can be available for others to view – even the profile photos you may have uploaded onto that dating website

-If you are not a paying customer for the Apps you are using, then you, your data ((including your contact list (does that include your patients?) and your calendar appointments)) are the commodity…

- Most Apps now have permission to send and read digital communications (including eMail, SSM and iMessages) from your BYOD without notifying you

- Client data must be stored securely NOT in the Apple cloud (is WhatsApp automatically downloading images to your image gallery on your BYOD mobile devices?  WhatsApp is not an appropriate channel for clinical communications

- Beware of image/message streaming between networked devices

- If you use a BYOD Smartphone, Tablet, laptop or PC for your clinical work or research, be sure to establish how to clean these devices before discarding or upgrading them for new ones

- New General Data Protection Regulation (May 2018) is imminent – with potential for fines of 20 million euro or 4% of annual turnover per breach

- The GDC has also issued guidance on the use of social media for dental professionals so their site is also worth a visit to make sure you are complying .

As well as advocating digital professionalism BAOS embraces the advances in social media as away of keeping in contact and interacting with you, our membership. So please look at our facebook pages and use our Twitter account or email us .(Sophie and her team are always on the end of the phones in the BAOS office for those of us with our Nokia bricks!) 

Keep an eye our  for our new look BAOS website to be launched shortly and please take advantage of our all singing and dancing conference app when we welcome you to the fantastic conference planned for Belfast in September. 

As you can imagine there was much fiddling and adjusting of IT devices by the delegates throughout the training  day as Bernadette gave us each new pearl of wisdom. I left the day a lot wiser, less fearful and holding valuable knowledge about how to keep my twin 14 year old boys safe in their burgeoning social media activities!

Check out Bernadette's website here: http://digitalprofessionalism.com/

Pippa Blacklock

BAOS Past President 


Wednesday 7 June 2017

June 2017 Blog from Sarah McKernon

As trainee representative on the SAC I have been fortunate to be a part of the working group for National Recruitment for Oral Surgery. I thought I’d use my blog to update everyone on the process that has commenced this year for our specialty. 

National Recruitment was first introduced to postgraduate dental training in 2011 for Dental Foundation Training (DFT) posts, formerly known as vocational training (VT). Then in 2012, Orthodontics was the first speciality to pilot the scheme for the recruitment of Specialty Registrars (StRs). The process was deemed to be successful, with both applicants and interviewers reporting positively on the experience. Subsequently, a similar recruitment process was rolled out with equal success for both Paediatric Dentistry and Restorative Dentistry.

In line with COPDEND’s plan to enrol all specialities in the process, the Oral Surgery SAC agreed in 2015 that National Recruitment to our specialty would begin in 2017. A working group was established in 2016, led by James Spencer, Lead Dean for Oral Surgery. The group’s mission was to formulate and co-ordinate the multi-station interview (MSI), and in doing so, ensure the process was suitable for recruitment to a career in Oral Surgery. Self-assessment of applicants was also introduced to aid short-listing.

Following many meetings and much constructive debate amongst the working group, the Oral Surgery National Recruitment process commenced as planned on 1st March 2017, with online applications opening on the Yorkshire and Humber HEE website. The online application platform remained open for three weeks. There were seven training positions available nationally on this occasion.

Formal interviews were conducted on 18th May 2017 at Elland Road Football Stadium. It was planned that approximately 3 applicants per available post were interviewed. MSIs were designed to assess applicants’ personal development portfolios, skills in communication and management. The process culminated with an OSCE style assessment.

Following a long day for all, feedback on the process was gathered from both applicants and interviewers. Overall, applicants were pleased with the fairness of the process, although many felt that the critical appraisal assessment was demanding. This feedback will be invaluable in helping to mould and develop the process for the future. It is a new process and as expected, may have the odd crease to iron out. The plan henceforth is for National Recruitment to Oral Surgery to continue annually.

As a trainee, I believe the process is fair and robust. It allows candidates to shine and to demonstrate a wide range of skills and competencies. Behind the scenes, I have seen the incredible work completed by the working group (Tara Renton, Colette Balmer, Pippa Blacklock, Julian Yates and Christine Goodall), and the focus to develop and secure our future as a profession. 

Sarah McKernon : BAOS Oral Surgery Trainees Rep

Monday 8 May 2017

May 2017 Blog Professor Paul Coulthard

Professor Paul Coulthard

BAOS Council Member and

Editor-in-Chief of Oral Surgery

Dubai and Conscious Sedation

First weekend in May I was running a sedation workshop in Dubai. I have been travelling to various places in world but especially the Middle East to promote the use of conscious sedation for more than twenty-five years now. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are fascinating in that they have huge expatriate populations served by expatriate dentists trained in all parts of the world and with vastly different educational experience in respect of conscious sedation techniques and in particular a wider understanding of the implications of the patients general health. All the health professionals who seek to work in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are required to satisfy increasingly stringent regulatory requirements as the Government is on a mission to increase the quality of care provided for the population. The UAE regulation is tight around many areas of practice of clinical dentistry and the CPD requirements are significantly greater than required in the UK.

When I first visited the UAE I felt as though my efforts were in vain as conscious sedation could not be practiced freely by dentists and my courses were attended by Department of Health officials questioning the safety of such techniques in the hands of dentists. Thankfully the skeptics were won over and those early days are now history! Interestingly there was never any questioning of ‘the need’ for conscious sedation in dentistry as this was obvious.

Similarly when I taught in Eastern Europe there was intense interest in the use of conscious sedation because dentists were aware of the stress experienced by anxious patients undergoing dental treatment. In the same countries every sort of oral surgery procedure had been carried out under local anaesthesia alone. When professional colleagues have questioned the need to offer conscious sedation and general anesthesia services for oral surgery in the UK because they are ‘not necessary’ elsewhere in the world, I have had a strong reply! Many other countries are desperate for these services to enable delivery of oral surgery treatment to be provided humanely and would love to have the sedation and general anaesthesia services that we have available in the UK. Unfortunately because of historic or economic reasons these means of managing pain and anxiety are not always available elsewhere.

There has been disproportionate attention in the use of sedation in dentistry in the UK with a huge number of published reports over the years compared to those in other areas of dentistry. This may however have been a good thing as conscious sedation practice remains in the hands of the dental team and has an exemplary safety record. Unfortunately publication of the ‘Standards’ document had a detrimental effect on the delivery of conscious sedation services with dentist ceasing to practice these techniques for fear of not satisfying in particular the new training requirements. In fact the training requirements proposed were only for new dentists and not those already using sedation techniques but there was considerable misunderstanding and confusion.

The authority of the ‘Standards’ document has been questioned and all four UK Chief Dental Officers have commissioned the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP) to update their ‘Conscious Sedation in Dentistry - Dental Clinical Guidance’ to offer some clarity to clinicians. As a member of the Guidance Development Group I was hugely impressed by the rigorous methodology used by SDCEP in their endeavor to make explicit the level of evidence supporting recommendations. Hopefully this guidance will encourage a reversal in the decline in sedation services.

As a passionate advocate of conscious sedation services I have been pleased to recently Chair a group on behalf of NHS England to write ‘Commissioning Dental Services - Conscious Sedation in a Primary Care Setting’ for commissioners. This guide should be published online by NHS England soon. This is an important element in ensuring the framework for delivery of services is in place in the current NHS system in England. So hopefully conscious sedation is back on track for the UK!



1. Standards for Conscious Sedation in the Provision of Dental Care: Report of the Intercollegiate Advisory Committee for Sedation in Dentistry (IACSD). 2015;


2. Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP). Conscious Sedation in Dentistry - Dental Clinical Guidance.  Third Edition. 2017

Publisher: Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP), Dundee. URL: http://www.sdcep.org.uk/published-guidance/sedation/

3. Commissioning Dental Services - Conscious Sedation in a Primary Care Setting. NHS England. In Press 2017.

Professor Paul Coulthard 

BAOS Council Member and Editor-in-Chief of Oral Surgery

Monday 10 April 2017

April 2017 Blog from Rhian Jones

Rhian Jones

Honorary Treasurer

BDS MFDS RCS MsurgDent(Eng)

I don’t know about you but I know I haven’t cracked this “work/life balance” thing. Like many of you I am busy at work, dealing with patients, staff and generally running the practice as well as keeping an eye on how many UDA’s have been completed as the end of year is looming. Home is equally as busy with normal day to day stuff; the after school clubs, book week and even St David’s Day celebrations last week!

So many of my friends and family thought I had completely lost the plot when I announced I was going to Greece for a weekend to provide emergency dental treatment in a refugee camp. I signed up five months ago with the dental charity Dentaid who work with Health Point Foundation to provide dental treatment for refugees. The process was relatively simple, a few emails & forms to fill in and a phone call with Dentaid to ensure you know what to expect and iron out any queries you have. All of that was done before Christmas so last week it was a bit of a shock to realise the date had actually come round!

And so it was I found myself in Gatwick departure lounge early on a Friday morning meeting two fellow dentists, Rob & Niyi, who had also signed up for the weekend. The three of us flew to Thessaloniki and, after picking up the hire car, made our way to the hotel.

That evening we met up with the coordinators working on the ground in Thessaloniki and two other dental volunteers. The seven of us came from different backgrounds professionally and from different countries & cultures but it is amazing how much we had in common. Hassan & Rayyan, the coordinators, both spoke Arabic and were also dentists. They worked tirelessly over the Saturday & Sunday setting up the clinics, organizing patients, assisting with treatments and were always on hand to help translate & communicate with the patients. Both had been working in the role for a few weeks and planned to stay on for another two months or so.

The two other dentists had volunteered via Health Point Foundation. Ibrahim was from Australia and had arranged his volunteering to coincide with a ceramic aesthetic course he had attended in Athens earlier in the month. Gavin was a semi-retired Oral Surgeon from the Manchester area. Get two oral surgeons together and it’s not long before you start comparing notes - we had an interesting conversation regarding Eagle-Beak forceps!

The refugees we treated had been relocated out of the camps into a disused warehouse and a hotel. On arriving at the sites our first job was to move all of the kit from the van to the allocated room and set up the “surgery” with two folding massage tables as the dental chairs, a clean kit area and a container for dirty instruments.

The seven of us quickly became a team. Whilst we were getting everything ready Rayyan would make a waiting list of all the people who wanted to be seen and would start spreading the word amongst the refugees that we were there for the day to provide treatment and advice.  Hassan made sure everything was set up correctly and Gavin (having already been working as a volunteer for five days) also knew how the system worked in terms of getting everything organised.

Rob, Niyi and I provided the treatment for patients, whilst Gavin moved between us providing instruments, materials, advise and then cleaning up after us – we couldn’t have asked for a better assistant! Ibrahim was worth his weight in gold in helping us communicate with the refugees. This went beyond merely translating what we were saying as he also chatted to the patients and their families and reassured them about what we were doing.

The two days flew by and I thoroughly enjoyed the work we did. It was a challenging work environment and undoubtedly took us all slightly out of our comfort zones, probably me more so than Rob & Niyi as I undertook some restorative work and that’s not normally part of my day-to-day practice! It was amazing how many of the patients really wanted to try and save as many teeth as possible and this didn’t seem to be driven by a fear of dental extractions but a genuine desire to hold on to their dentition – I wish the same could be said of some of my usual patients!

All too quickly we were on our way home and I was sad to leave. I made some new friends who I know I’ll stay in touch with and I’m glad that I made a small difference to the people I treated, all of whom were very grateful for our help.

Already I’m thinking about when I can volunteer again and despite everyday life being very busy I think I’ve come home with a clearer perspective on what is actually important and what’s not so urgent.

If you’re thinking about volunteering  - please do, I know you’ll find it as worthwhile as I did.  www.Dentaid.co.uk 

Friday 24 March 2017

BAOS March Blog by Greg Gerrard

March 2017 Blog
Greg Gerrard
BAOS Council Member
*LocSSIPs - what you need to know!
The week before last I attended the Symposium on Patient Safety in Dentistry organised by the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons of England. The Local and National Safety Standards for Invasive Procedures (LocSSIPs and NatSSIPs) were first introduced in a Patient Safety Alert in September 2015 and apply to NHS-funded care in England (it is likely that similar standards will emerge in the devolved administrations). The take-home message from an excellent day was that we should all be introducing and using LocSSIPs wherever we work.
The extent of the problem is uncertain as there is believed to be widespread under-reporting of patient safety incidents in general dental practice but dental wrong site surgery accounted for 24% of all Never Events in 2015/16. Alka Saksena (who also spoke at our Manchester conference in 2015) talked us through the effects of introducing new checklists, team briefs and interventions to improve the team's culture of safety to reduce wrong tooth extractions at the University Dental Hospital of Manchester. Never Events are not only devastating for the patient but they take a huge toll on the whole clinical team. I have seen the fall-out from these incidents and can assure you that the time required to adopt these standards is a fraction of that involved in dealing with a Never Event.
So what should we be doing? Although there has been considerable confusion amongst providers about introducing LocSSIPs the requirements are clear - if you are carrying out a procedure that might lead to a Never Event, whether that's with local anaesthetic, sedation or general anaesthesia, you should work with your team to create a tailored LocSSIP based on the national standard (NatSSIP). The need for a LocSSIP applies whether it's an extraction in high street general dental practice or in a secondary care setting, although the locally determined standard will probably be very different. In most cases the LocSSIP will resemble a WHO surgical safety checklist but this will be considerably simplified in many outpatient settings.
A toolkit and FAQ document has been created to help you and you can find a copy of this here [link to documents on our website]. The NHS Improvement NatSSIPs website will shortly be updated to include examples of dental checklists that you might find useful but in the meantime there are templates to help you write your local standard. The toolkit does provide a sample which is reproduced below - do note that although you may choose to have a tick box list to be retained in the notes, this is not a requirement. If you have a checklist that you would like to share with others, please email it to patientsafety.enquiries@nhs.net and to the BAOS office.
Greg Gerrard
BAOS Council member 

Wednesday 1 February 2017

BAOS February 2017 Blog from Anna Dargue

By the time you read this we will be well into 2017, but as I write I am still in new year, new opportunities and planning for the year ahead. And what a year ahead it is going to be with so many fabulous BAOS events to attend!

 Julie Burke, our new BAOS secretary, has organised a comprehensive two-day core CPD course for you to fulfil many of your CPD requirements.  The course is being held at the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh on Monday 8th and Tuesday 9th May.

 The GDC 'highly recommend' several topics as part of your minimum verifiable CPD of 75 hours per five-year cycle.  These topics are:

Medical Emergencies - at least 2 hours/year

Disinfection and Decontamination - at least 5 hours in every cycle

Radiography and Radiation protection - again at least 5 hours in every cycle

 The GDC also recommend you cover some other topics which contribute to patient safety, although they don't specify how long you should spend on them. These include:

Legal and ethical issues

Complaints handling

Oral cancer: early detection

Safeguarding children and young people

Safeguarding vulnerable adults

 So for £265 (early bird fee) you can tick off 12 hours of your CPD for 2017, as well as enjoying time to network with your fellow oral surgery colleagues over the tea-breaks!  Donald Thomson, Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial Radiologist at Dundee will cover radiation protection in detail (and cover half of your cycle requirement). Aubrey Craig is highly qualified to update you on legal and ethical issues and complaints handling as head of the dental division of MDDUS.  Christine Whitworth, a general dental practitioner in Liverpool and infection control advisor to the FGDP is going to talk about disinfection and decontamination. Professor Jim McCaul , Consultant Maxillofacial surgeon will speak about the early detection of oral cancer and is the RCS/BAOMS lead for research in Maxillofacial surgery.  There is also a session on safeguarding children and young people by Graeme Wright, Consultant in paediatric dentistry, and of course not forgetting an update on medical emergencies by our very own Julie Burke and Kate Taylor, who are both ALS and ATLS trained.

As a further bonus, there is an update in sedation (Simon Morrow), a dentist and sedation practice inspector for some of the health boards in Scotland, and also Nick Palmer, who many will recognise is the author of the FGDP guidelines on antimicrobial prescribing and will talk about the highly topical area of antimicrobial resistance. 

Don't delay, the early bird fee ends on 28th February.....

 We are also pleased to announce that the educational programme for the BAOS conference in Belfast will shortly be revealed so you can make more decisions about study leave and educational updates for the year ahead.  It's straightforward to get to Belfast, both Belfast International airport and Belfast City airport (which is slightly closer to the centre) connect to 20 major UK airports. Many of these have their flights already open and were about £25 each way when I looked.  Obviously the sooner you book the greater the cost saving, however it's still likely to be cheaper than a train-fare!  There is a bus service from the airport into central Belfast and most connect to the Europa Bus centre which is just around the corner from the Europa hotel, and our venue for the conference. 

 The social nights have however been finalised for the conference. Wednesday night you will need your sea-legs for a trip on the "Nomadic". This is the vessel that used to ferry the passengers in Southampton onto the Titanic. It has been restored and sits in the harbour just beside the Titanic slipway and Titanic exhibition centre. It is walking distance from the Europa (although probably not in high heels..) The Thursday night formal dinner will take place in the historic Belfast City Hall. This is definitely walking distance from the Europa hotel. There are plenty of reasonably priced hotels in the centre of Belfast, but you are advised to book early as they fill up quickly with tourists.

 Also coming up, there is a study day in Edinburgh organised by the Scottish BAOS regional reps on 31st March, with a hands-on soft tissue management and socket preservation masterclass available the following day.  A Newcastle study day is planned for 7th April, and two further study days at the end of May in Canterbury and Birmingham are also being organised by our regional reps.

 So it seems there's lots of great choices for CPD for the year ahead and just too little time...

 Anna Dargue 

BAOS Council member and BOAS Regional Rep Coordinator