I am an experienced general dental practitioner with 36 years in clinical practice; I had my own 3 surgery practice for 20 of those years. I provided general dental services to patients with a particular interest in aesthetic dentistry. The practice could be termed a friendly family practice and during that time we saw 3 generations of patients.
I have served on both BDA and LDC bodies for a long time with spells as Chairman of our local BDA section and secretary of Hertfordshire LDC. I was also fortunate to be elected as Middlesex and Hertfordshire Branch President a few years ago. The work at LDC level included serving on many affiliated committees.
I was Dental Practice Advisor for Hertfordshire PCTs from 1997 to 2010 and gained the trust of practitioners in that county; routine dental practice inspections were carried out at some 200 practices every 3 years which enabled dentists to speak with me, ask questions and get to know me.
I served on a number of nationwide working groups; one of these was a COPDEND group looking at updating and rewriting the COPDEND remediation advice for registrants in difficulty and the role of HEE advisors in the process. I am at present on a GDC complaints initiative working group.
I have given presentations of vocational trainees in some previous years and also powerpoint lectures to GDPs on personal development plans. Late last year I spoke to the East of England PASS scheme on mentoring in dentistry.
I have mentored dentists in difficulty at Health Education England since 2007 when I joined that organisation. This usually involved a number of meetings with the registrant at the HEE offices in Cambridge. The dentists were facing disciplinary procedures either at the GDC of NHS England (or occasionally at both). This has meant dealing with a variety of different situations and sending reports of meetings to those organisations which are regularly used at Fitness to Practise hearings.
I also see some dentists on a private basis; these cases mainly involve disciplinary proceedings but sometimes they wish to be mentored for their personal and professional development.
I use an empathic approach in these meetings and use the Skilled Helper mentoring model; effective listening as dentists know can be tiring but this is very important and can lead to challenging questions which hope to insight into remediation pathways.