Hopefully you will have seen the report on the BDA's first survey of hospital‐based members in the latest edition of the BDJ (BDJ volume 225, pages 556–567: 28 September 2018), alongside our accompanying editorial.
We really appreciate the time dentists take to fill out surveys like these – the data really helps us to understand the issues facing our members and gives us the evidence we need to help tackle them.
In our last general workforce survey, morale amongst SAS dentists working in hospitals was particularly low– we believe this is causing a serious retention problem and, left unchecked, it could impact on the hospital dental service's ability to deliver the best care to their patients.
We all know there are some significant shifts taking place in the NHS, and it's our job to ensure the role of hospital dentists continues to be fulfilling and an attractive career. We owe it to our workforce and we owe it to our patients.
Hospital dentists may be relatively small in number to some of the other fields of dentistry, but that doesn't mean we work any less hard on your behalf, or care about it any less.
Our campaigning and lobbying work takes time and involves a lot of people behind the scenes, your representatives. We do it, so you don't have to, but we hope that you will show your support by taking part in our surveys, and by continuing your BDA membership.
If you've not yet joined us, I strongly urge you to do so, here are just three reasons that I hope will help persuade you:
- Your contract. Trainees have a new contract, Consultants are in the process of receiving a new contract and it is beyond likely that the SAS grades will enter negotiations on a new contract soon. If you would like a say on the outcome of this, or input into what we negotiate, you need to be a member.
- Your daily working life. We ensure that what is in your contract is what you are asked to work. Where employers don't want to abide by all the rules we hold them to account.
- Your education. We provide an annual study day to give you a broad perspective on the hospital dental services, both clinically and politically.
There are, of course, lots of other reasons too, local peer support, CPD and training, networking and mentoring opportunities and Europe's largest dental library to name just a few more.
Peter Dyer, Chair
Central Committee for Hospital Dental Services
Working for you
We will continue to campaign for improved working lives and terms and conditions for hospital dentists. If you'd like to be kept up to date with our progress:
- Please ensure you membership details are up to date via your MyBDA and tick the relevant box/es to subscribe to our regular enewsletters.
- Follow our Twitter feed @theBDA
- Help shape the future of the profession: become a representative on our committees
Through our policy and campaigning work, we ensure that the concerns of all sections of the profession are raised and that dentists' voices are heard at a national level: join us.