BSDHT president urges members to call for direct access

A dental leader is calling on hygienists and therapists to influence the future of their profession.

Sally Simpson, president of the British Society of Dental Hygiene & Therapy (BSDHT) has urged members to get involved in the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) study in order to get the ball rolling on direct access.

In a direct letter to all members, she writes: ‘I’m keen that we should make the most of the time… to get our views across.’

The OFT launched the study in September to examine if the private and NHS dentistry markets are working well for patients.

And part of its remit is to invesigate the issue of professional restrictions on direct access to specialists or providers of auxiliary services, such as hygienists.

The BSDHT welcomed the study and, last month, an OFT representative joined members of the society at the BSDHT Stand at the Oral Health Conference in Bournemouth to hear directly from delegates.

The OFT suggests findings will be published March 2012.

Sally says: ‘I’m keen that we should make the most of the time until then to get our views across. This is particularly important in relation to direct access where the OFT want to hear real rather than anecdotal examples of the impact – particularly the financial impact – the current lack of direct access has upon you and your patients.

‘So I’m writing personally to each and every member of BSDHT to encourage you to submit your views and comments to the OFT.’

Dental professionals can email [email protected], or write to:

Dentistry Market Study Team

Services and Public Markets Group

Office of Fair Trading

Fleetbank House

2-6 Salisbury Square

London EC4Y 8JX

Sally adds: ‘Please do your part by pledging your support for the removal of the requirement of a referral from a dentist to see a dental hygienist or dental therapist and where possible, by providing evidence of the negative impact denial of direct access has for you and your patients. Let’s not miss this opportunity to influence the outcome of this study.’

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