So, in spite of protestations and lobbying by the British Dental Association and considerable malcontent amongst the dental community, the Care Quality Commission won't relax its registration timetable for dental practices.  So all practices will have to submit their application by 31st December and from 1st April 2011 it will be illegal to operate without CQC registration.

In bowing to the inevitable can we turn this into an opportunity?  From my experience of working with established organisations, exercises such as this one always prove beneficial to some degree.  Only when forced - usually by external forces - to re-examine what we actually do, are we honest with ourselves about our shortcomings.  Only when we re-examine our businesses do we come up with great ideas for improving our services.

As one Dentist who had attended a seminar on the subject has reported, "I noticed about half way through the morning that I was full of resignation and resentment about the whole thing, and that that wouldn't help, so gave that up!  There is no doubt that this is a great opportunity for the practice in terms of increasing effective management and patient marketing.  However, there is no getting away from the fact that there is a huge amount of work to be done, specially if it is to be used to full effect, rather than just ticking the boxes."

To my mind "lots of work" demands lots of benefits.  Why not use this process to ensure that you really are delivering a first class service to your patients and, what's more, you are able to prove it.  The benefits might even outweigh the irritation!

Please do get in touch if you'd like some help; ring me on 01608 641941 now.

Kate Ward
20th October 2010.


…or so we are told.  Apparently it is “wasteful” to allocate 0.3% of your budget to management consultancy.  Better it seems to flounder about inefficiently, for your staff to be pulled from pillar to post as they try to respond to more new initiatives and directives, and for them not to have the opportunity to learn from others how to accomplish distant, often imposed, but generally laudable goals.

And what do we Management Consultants bring to the party? I for one have helped to transform the commissioning of dental practices so that people can have previously denied access to high quality dentistry under the NHS, of the type which will ensure an improvement in their oral health, and enabled this to be achieved in a sensible time frame; I have helped a group of PCTs to set up the infrastructure to support research and development in primary care, in line with the NHS Plan, so that patients can benefit directly from the results of this research and staff be encouraged to stay working for the NHS and to deliver Primary and Community Care; I have helped NHS and local authority managers to develop the business case for new services and for staff training to deliver these; and I could go on….!

We are told there are too many managers in the NHS; now we are told there are too many management consultants.  So, who is supposed to be managing this huge organisation?  Are the “front line staff” going to have to abandon their patients, roll up their sleeves and become instant top class business managers?  Then who will be the front-line staff?

I must stop this rant, pick up the phone, and see how I can best help my clients to weather this latest storm.  If I can continue to help them to be efficient and effective and to support individual staff to achieve even more than they are already, more patients will benefit, and more people may feel better.  It could put a smile on someone’s face.  And that’s good enough for me.

Kate Ward
21st August 2010.

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