John Makin

John Makin

Author at Dentistry Online

Head of the DDU
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The legal eagle – speaking up for patient safety

Allowing practitioners to raise concerns in the dental practice is an important part of healthcare, John Makin says. October’s Speak up Month is a timely reminder that raising concerns effectively is an important element of ethical practice in the NHS and private sector. The initiative by the National Guardian’s Office aims to foster a healthcare … Continued

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The legal eagle – putting fit back into fitness to practise

John Makin, head of the DDU, explains why the GDC needs powers to reform its fitness to practise procedures. Nobody likes to think they might undergo a GDC investigation or, end up before a fitness to practise hearing. And it’s true that the likelihood of involvement in a GDC complaint is low and one which … Continued

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COVID-19: what have members asked the DDU?

John Makin reveals the issues that have prompted most requests for advice and support during the pandemic in 2020. The coronavirus outbreak has been an anxious and challenging time in dental practice. Health concerns, financial pressures and the need to adapt to wholesale changes in working arrangements have caused real anguish. However, dental professionals have … Continued

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What can 2020 teach us?

John Makin reflects on how we can still learn important lessons from a difficult 2020. Many dental professionals are used to dealing with high pressure situations, stressful decisions, and anxious patients. However, the pandemic magnified these challenges to an unprecedented level during 2020.  Over the course of last year, there was a variety of new … Continued

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Reflecting on 2020

John Makin, head of the Dental Defence Union, reflects on how we can still learn important lessons from a difficult 2020. Many dental professionals are used to dealing with high pressure situations, stressful decisions, and anxious patients. But the pandemic has magnified these challenges to an unprecedented level during 2020. Over the course of the … Continued

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Indemnity – your questions answered

One of the first decisions you need to make as a young dentist is about your professional indemnity. It can be a confusing area. Head of the Dental Defence Union, John Makin, answers your top five queries. 1. Why do I need professional indemnity? Even when carefully managing risks when treating patients, dental professionals can … Continued

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Acting with immunity

John Makin warns the public should not hold dental professionals to an unattainable standard after the applause fades away. Every Thursday evening, people up and down the UK ‘clap for carers’. This is in recognition of the efforts of NHS staff and other key workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s an uplifting moment. But when … Continued

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Stability in uncertain times

John Makin urges dental professionals to regularly check relevant websites to stay up to date with the latest advice. Dental practice has changed dramatically as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s natural for dental professionals to be feeling unnerved by the speed and scale of the transformation. We have heard from many members concerned … Continued

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Keep it local

John Makin remarks on the growing number of complaints coming from other dental professionals. Efforts by the General Dental Council (GDC) to better signpost those raising concerns about fitness to practise (FTP) to local processes rather than the regulator have begun to pay off. The number of complaints to the GDC about FTP decreased by … Continued

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Patients or consumers for cosmetic facial treatments?

John Makin says dental professionals need to be cautious when marketing cosmetic facial treatments. Two new documents appeared in my inbox recently that highlighted the need for dental professionals to tread cautiously when promoting cosmetic facial treatments to patients. Firstly, the General Dental Council’s (GDC) latest Patients and Public survey. This looks at the views … Continued

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Charity work in Tanzania with bridge2aid

John Makin recounts his time in Tanzania with the charity Bridge2aid. Travelling overseas is always a rewarding experience to learn about new cultures and to push yourself out of your comfort zone. There is the opportunity to learn how local dentists work, when you take an elective placement, often with extremely limited resources. In short, … Continued


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