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a blog by Chris Barrow

Moan, then move on

It's been a week in dentistry in which the need for clarification has re-emerged.

Clients and open-house webinar attendees have asked Lockdown 3.0 questions on:

  • Temperature testing;

  • The effectiveness of lateral flow tests;

  • What to do about team members who decline the request to be LF tested;

  • The availability of local vaccination and having to prove to some providers the eligibility of the dental team;

  • The categories of treatment that you feel comfortable to deliver;

  • The ongoing debate around levels of associate remuneration;

  • Responding to patient questions around safety;

  • Reassuring plan patients.

Then, of course, the big elephant in some rooms - the new UDA/UOA targets in the lockdown environment.

Dealing with the elephant, may I suggest that put aside any thoughts of renegotiation on the subject and get on with figuring out how you are going to get to the finish line on 31st March.

The best you can hope for is that between the BDA and representatives of the accountancy and legal profession, there may be some easing of the T's & C's - even that may be unduly optimistic.

The targets are not shifting.

Let's end the first lockdown week by focusing on the good news:

  • You are open and able to determine what categories of treatment you can deliver, provided you are confident on your SOPs;

  • You are very much wiser than you were last June on those SOPs and on how to manage the day list and the patient flow;

  • You and your team are no longer rookies - you are seasoned veterans who know what it's like to be on the battlefield;

  • You know from experience that, when uncertainties arise, there is a period of debate, followed by answers;

  • You know that private dentistry is booming.

To quote Lisa Bainham (who did a smashing job of launching our Practice Managers Development Programme yesterday), even though there is a lot of hard work ahead, now is the time to "moan and move on".

I had the pleasure of facilitating three webinars yesterday and, although we discussed the challenges facing dentistry, it was interesting to contrast the panic of April 2020 with the "OK so what do I do?" of January 2021.

There is no doubt in my mind that this is the last third of the marathon. It hurts, by God it hurts, but you know the end is in sight. I predict that September will be when you get your finisher's t-shirt and medal.

We all just now have to hunker down, do the work we trained for and get to the finish, one step at a time.

Have a restful weekend.

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