Dental nurses ‘cannot afford conference’

Organisers have been forced to cancel the annual British Association of Dental Nurses (BADN) conference, blaming poor support from practitioners and the economic climate.

The 2011 National Dental Nursing Conference was due to be held in Glasgow in November but the association’s president, Sue Bruckel, said: ‘Although we have been able to keep  the cost of conference the same since 2009, there is even less funding available for dental nurses to attend conference.

‘The cost to delegates of £120 for the two-day conference is already considerably less than the actual cost, which is closer to £300-£400 per person, at a conservative estimate.

‘We manage to keep the cost down to just £120 through sponsorship from dental trade companies, by speakers waiving their usual fees, and because our staff organise the conference in-house and give up their weekend to actually run it.

She adds: ‘BADN receives no official funding; unlike Deaneries, for example, or NES, who can therefore put on events with only a nominal fee to delegates,  we have to fund Conference through sponsorship and delegates’ fees.
‘The majority of general practice dental nurses have always had to pay themselves to attend conference; and often have to take annual leave to attend as employers will not allow study leave or contribute towards the cost of their dental nurses fulfilling their CPD requirements.

‘Traditionally, there has always been a strong core of dental nurses from other sectors of dentistry attending conference, because employers such as PCTs or Deaneries have provided partial funding. However, this year, even that funding has been severely curtailed or even withdrawn.  This, together with the GDC’s outrageous demand for £120 registration fee for every dental nurse, means that very few dental nurses are able to afford conference.

‘We have therefore had to make this very difficult decision.’
The presidential inauguration of incoming president Nicola Docherty, and the BADN AGM will now be held on Saturday 22 October at Dental Showcase, courtesy of the BDTA.

There will also be a buffet lunch, sponsored by Phillips Sonicare. Dental nurses wishing to attend the Inauguration and lunch, and current BADN members wishing to attend the AGM, should contact Katie Ball at [email protected]
‘I am of course very disappointed that conference cannot go ahead in my home town of Glasgow but appreciate that we are in very difficult times financially. I should like to thank both the BDTA and Phillips Sonicare for their generous sponsorship of the presidential inauguration and the AGM, and look forward to speaking with as many dental nurses as possible at Showcase.’
BADN will be reviewing its conference strategy later this year and hope to run an updated, more compact 2012 conference.

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