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a blog by Chris Barrow

Calming down as we get into the flow of this

If nothing else, independent dental practice owners are becoming more agile in their response to changing circumstances.

Back in March, there were weeks of anxiety as we all reacted, then responded, to lockdown 1.0 - and the same later in the year as we returned to work and then suffered lockdown 2.0 (the tiers).

The anxieties of the first two weeks of 2021 (lockdown 3.0) have subsided, with owners, managers and teams settling into the latest workflow and embracing Covid-related staff shortages and patient cancellations.

Last night's Business Confidence Forum was a microcosm of that general feeling, with 150+ attendees asking questions about the financial obligations of Employers when team members want to or are forced to take time off, lateral flow testing, vaccination and dealing with patient concerns. Broadly speaking, it was about "getting on with it" - a far cry from the wailing, gnashing teeth and renting garments of April 2020.

Perhaps the only emotion on display was the continued bewilderment around the deaf ears of those who set the rules for UDA targets, in the face of not just lockdown 3.0 but now practices closed due to flooding.

Despite the valiant efforts of the BDA and the dental accountancy profession, the Government want their pound of flesh now - and that is causing serious problems for some.

Mind you, as pointed out by Simon Thackeray last night, the idea of dentists moaning about having to increase their workload from 20% to 45% of normal at best will be ignored by the media and, at worst, would be a PR disaster - so don't hold your breath on target reform.

Time for us all to just hunker down and get on with it. That's exactly what most seem to be doing.

I struggled personally with the first two working weeks of the year and made reference to "hitting the wall".

This week has been better. I still get a bit freaked out by the groundhog nature of every day - but my support team (and my wife) will be glad to know that I've stopped moaning about that (and about our inability to book holidays) and have decided instead to just focus on the immediate road ahead, keep putting one foot in front of the other - and push through to the finish.

Last weekend I worked on Sunday to catch up.

Today (Friday) I'm going to work my tripe out all day and clear the decks, so that I can enjoy a restful weekend and celebrate my wedding anniversary with a Saturday night Caribbean-themed kitchen party - for two.

Don't worry - about a thing - 'cause every little thing gonna be alright.

Enjoy your weekend - we can do this.

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