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New resources on abusive and challenging patients

BDA Northern Ireland has produced new resources to support you in dealing with abusive patients and tough access conversations.

We know that this has been an unprecedently stressful time for patients, as well as practitioners. However, some dental teams have been experiencing abuse from those they are seeking to help and treat. Abuse of any kind towards dental staff cannot be tolerated and ensuring that all dental staff remain safe is vital.

That's why we have produced these helpful posters for you to customise, print and put up in your practice, to make clear that abuse is never acceptable. We are also working with the Health and Social Care Board to put out a series of patient-facing messages about the pressures practices continue to face. These are a reminder to the public to be patient and respectful to dentists and their teams as they continue to deliver care in difficult circumstances.

To help you to explain access restrictions to your patients, we have partnered with local practitioner Ciara Gallagher to produce this helpful video which you can share on your practice social media platforms.

This will help remind patients that practices are still restricted and that practitioners are doing everything they can to clear their patient backlog. Or read our Advice for Patients, which sets out what is happening in dentistry now, and may be useful in helping to put across your messages to patients.

Working hard for you

We’ve recently worked with BBC News to highlight that the sustainability of NHS dentistry is under threat. We warned that many Northern Ireland dentists are considering pulling out of providing NHS dental care, due to continuing restrictions. Our recent survey of dentists in Northern Ireland suggests more than half (59%) may reduce their health service commitment over the next year because of the restrictions, and that more than a third (39%) are thinking of leaving practice altogether.