Principle 5: Have a clear and effective complaints procedure

By Members, Newsletters

You as a dental practice owner are expected to have an effective complaints procedure.  But for those of you in NHS practice, would you say the NHS has an affective complaints procedure.  I would argue it does not.  Many of the complaints made to LAT’s are just farmed off to the GDC, which is not what the GDC is for.  Also there is a growing trend for lawyers to use the GDC as the unpaid case assessment unit, inciting their clients to complain to the GDC so the GDC do all the investigating.

Read More

ARF ARF, you’re having a LARF

By Members, Newsletters

The following is for entertainment purposes only

Oh look, council voted.  You now owe the GDC £890 next year.

Are you happy about it?

Could you have perhaps spent that added £300 on something worthwhile?

And who is to blame for all this?  Well, you won’t like my answer, because in my opinion, WE are to blame.

Read More

Principle 3: Obtain Valid Consent

By Members, Newsletters

Ok, here we go again

 A lot of this standard is a rehash of what we have already discussed, which should tell you something about the mindset we are dealing with.  To me you can’t get valid consent unless you have communicated effectively (principle 2), so some of this will be repeated from the last release

Read More

Principle 2: Communicate effectively with patients

By Members, Newsletters

2.1: – You must communicate effectively with patients – listen to them, give them time to consider information and take their individual views and communication needs into account

Ok here is the thing.  English is a difficult language to master.  It is full of nuances and regional variations.  And if you come from outside the EEU, you have to show you are proficient in the English language.  Not so it seems for those within the EEU, an area encompassing over a dozen languages.  Common sense here would state that potential EEU graduates should prove they are able to comply with this standard in fact 2.1.2 = “You must be sufficiently fluent in written and spoken English to communicate effectively with patients.”  But is it enforced on registration?

Read More

Principle One: Put Patients’ interests first

By Members, Newsletters

I’m going to spend a bit of time over the next few weeks dissecting the standards from the GDC.  I want to tell you what they expect you to do and not do (I am going to give you their MUSTS).  I’m also going to give you my take on what this means to you as a dentist.  I’m afraid you aren’t going to like this, and for some it will be depressing reading.  But it needs to be done, because most of you haven’t even read the bloody standards.  This is what you will be judged on should you one day come before them. 

Read More

The measure of a Wo/man

By Members, Newsletters

All I hear from dentists at the moment is “moan, moan, moan”

  1. Oh the GDC aren’t fir for purpose
  2. Oh the BDA are weak
  3. Oh the LAT want to cut my UDA’s
  4. Oh the patient numbers are still poor
  5. Oh my compliance costs are through the roof

For God’s sake get a fecking grip. Moaning does not achieve anything.  So if you are struggling, if you feel an oppressive weight on your shoulder, if you feel the profession isn’t going down the right path, I have one question for you:

What are you going to do about it? 


It’s a simple question.  And if you have a complaint, there is only one person who can eradicate that complaint.  You.  Barry can’t, the GDC can’t, the BDA can’t and the government can’t.  Only you can.

So what are you going to do about it?

Is you plan to go to the next showcase, get drunk and sit around moaning with other dentists?  Or are you going to get pro-active?  Are you going to swallow yourself up in a pit of despair, or are you going to thrive? 

And one response will be to ignore all the doom mongering.  Just carry on as normal, and cheerfully write out the cheque to the CQC.  Nothing wrong with that, except I have one question for you.  Whose paying the CQC?  Is it you, or have you increase your practice income so that the patients are paying for it. 

You see carrying on as normal is a bit like dancing around your garden shouting “there are no weeds, there are no weeds”, but not actually doing any gardening.  What do you think the end result of that will be?  

Now you know me.  You know I have the mentality of ignoring stuff that cannot be changed, ignoring stuff I know little about.  This is why I don’t turn into the BBC or CNN.  But dentistry is your business, it is your livelihood.  Ignoring the challenges isn’t really a viable option because there are definite threats to your livelihood. 

Another response is to get angry, to fire off letters of indignation to your MP, to the GDC, to the BDA, or vent your spleen on GDPUK.  And where do you think that will get you?  It might make you feel better initially, but it will have little affect. 

There is only one sensible action when faced with adversity.  Make a plan to counter that adversity. 

1) The GDC aren’t fit for purpose? I asked 20 dentists recently how they felt about the GDC.  They all said they were appalled.  But guess how many had actually read the guidance?  None of them.  The guidance, that for the first time, tells you exactly what you need to do to avoid falling foul of the GDC.  Any guidance that uses the word MUST……… well you better make sure you are doing what that guidance says. 

2) The BDA are weak and not doing anything?  So what?  It’s your business not theirs. If you are waiting for a night in shining armour to come to your rescue…….. well, you are going to have a long wait.

3) The LAT team want to cut your UDA’s?   Well, what are you doing to increase your private uptake?  Have you done an Ashley latter course?  Do you have a website?  Have you thought about training your staff as treatment coordinators?

4)The patient numbers are poor?  Are your reception team on that phone relentlessly chasing up the recalls.  Have you taken on board the message in Sheila Scots new book to highlight health as the main reason for patients to attend? 

5) Your compliance costs are rising?  Well, what are you doing about it?  Have you instigated new systems to make the practice run more smoothly, more efficiently?  Are you sourcing your materials and equipment from cheaper sources?  We recently bought 6 cavitron scaler tips from ebay……. For the price of one from Henry Schein. 

Don’t bloody moan to me unless you are actively doing something to combat the problem.  The days when you could open a practice and just make a shed load of money with little effort are over.  You have to work hard and work smart for it now.  And you know what, all the information you need is out there, free.  You don’t have to pay thousands to “dental business companies”, not unless you want to. 

Complaint without action is no better thans elf pity, and you are better than that.  So I shall leave you today with the words of that great philosopher, Rocky Balboa –

“Let me tell you something you already know.  The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!  Now if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth! But you gotta be willing to take the hits. And not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that”

In this world, you can work for government for a nice fat pension (but slowly die inside) or you can fight for what you want, what you feel you deserve.  Because I will tell you now, nobody else gives a stuff about you. 

That’s the way it looks from here

Who is John Galt?

By Members, Newsletters

“All your life, you have heard yourself denounced, not for your faults, but for your greatest virtues. You have been hated, not for your mistakes, but for your achievements. You have been scorned for all those qualities of character which are your highest pride. You have been called selfish for the courage of acting on your own judgment and bearing sole responsibility for your own life. You have been called arrogant for your independent mind. You have been called cruel for your unyielding integrity. You have been called anti-social for the vision that made you venture upon undiscovered roads. You have been called ruthless for the strength and self-discipline of your drive to your purpose. You have been called greedy for the magnificence of your power to create wealth. You, who’ve expended an inconceivable flow of energy, have been called a parasite. You, who’ve created abundance where there had been nothing but wastelands and helpless, starving men before you, have been called a robber. You, who’ve kept them all alive, have been called an exploiter. You, the purest and most moral man among them, have been sneered at as a vulgar materialist” – From Atlas Shrugged

I am going to reframe some facts regarding living in this country.  My intention is merely to allow you the opportunity to ponder about what you think you already know.  What I’m saying is not THE truth, it is merely MY truth.  Your opinion may well be different than mine, and it will be just as valid.

First the negative

Twice a year the government extort from you almost one third of your income, by force.  You pay because they have all the guns and you like your liberty too much.  This money is then wasted, squandered, and spent on grandiose schemes that rarely come to fruition.  Much of it is spent creating organisation and laws that oppress and restrict your freedoms.  You effectively pay for your own enslavement.

Your MP does not care about you.  At all.  With rare exceptions, those occupying the offices of our hallowed parliament care only for themselves, their own fiefdoms and their own bank balance.  Many of them are sociopaths.  They may occasionally take up your cause, but usually it is because they have something personal to gain. 

Your government lies to you.  And you vote them in every five years and complain when they break their promises.  Sometimes you complain loudly and they placate you.  But the same liars still end up sitting in judgement over you

Humanity repeats the same mistakes over and over again.  Technology and population growth just allow those mistakes to be bigger and better.  The way civilisations and economies have collapsed in the past will be the way they collapse in the future. 

We are heading for a pivotal event in the next few years that will see currencies, economies and governments fall.  Borders will be rewritten and wars will change the present landscape.  The world you know ill be significantly different 50 years from now.

The media tell you what they want you to think.  They manipulate you, confuse you with half truths, and subtly (and not so subtly) give you straw men to castigate and attack.  They are there to keep you from looking behind the curtain.

The stock market is a rigged Casino.  It is there to harvest wealth from the majority and siphon this to the minority.  Some of the greatest fortunes ever made were during the times of the market panics

The government view you as a commodity.  Your labour, your ability to earn value is the collateral for the debt they keep borrowing from the bankers.  


And now the positive

You are not your identity.  Your identity is merely your ego holding you in fear.  Despite the fear message surrounding the GDC, the CQC, Monitor etc, I long ago realised that I am not a dentist.  I am merely an individual who spends some of his time doing dentistry.  If I was struck off tomorrow I would have a beer and go and do something else.  You are not your career.  Your career is just something you do (hopefully because you enjoy it and because you are good at it) and is just part of the ride of life.  Who is to say the ride won’t one day take you in a different direction.

We are in for, as the Chinese say, “interesting times” over the next few years.  But as Nietzsche once said “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.  History shows us that, for humanity to make great leaps, it also has to pay a price.  The price may not be pleasant, but the reward on the other side will be talked about in history books for centuries to come

For perhaps the first time ever, the ability for you as a dentist to orientate your practice to deliver the message about dental health is there at your finger tips.  People do not want dentistry, they want dental health, and many can achieve this with your help, and the help of empowered and educated DCP’s.  And finally, the true message about the dangers of sugar are everywhere.

Your registration with the General Dental Council is a contract.  You are allowed to be a dentist so long as you follow their rules and meet their expectations.  And for the first time ever, the GDC, in the form of the New Standards, tells you in no uncertain terms what is expected of you.  Believe it or not, they have actually made it easier for you to stay off their radar. 

Money goes to where it is respected and to those who understand its true nature.  Flash cars, big houses and fancy gadgets are all distractions to keep you from attaining true financial independence.  They bring the brief illusion of happiness and merely keep you in a realm of debt and keep you in the “Rat Race” chasing that elusive financial goal.  It is my opinion that financial independence is one of the keys to the vault of life, because then you are free to do what you want to without any worry about where the next pay cheque is coming from.

Life is like climbing a mountain.  Some people reach the top.  Some people give up and rest at the bottom, never amounting to much.  Others are still climbing, overtaking and being overtaken.  Some help others up the mountain.  Others kick people down.  Some people stumble and fall.  For some people the climb is a torment, others seem to breeze up the mountain with no effort.  The trick is to just keep on climbing.

There is only one person that can beat you, and you see their face every morning in the mirror.

Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!” – Rocky Balboa

Humanity is on the cusp of a complete change in our understanding of the nature of reality.  Our technological advances and physiological understanding will see us create a world unrecognisable to those who live now.  Nano technology, gene reprocessing, Graphine superconductors, implantable tech, artificial intelligence, super colliders and the populations awakening from a media induced slumber will make the Earth and the Solar system a place of wonders.

If you ever feel pessimistic about the world, just go onto YouTube and watch an hour or two of TED talks.  Despite the best efforts of sociopaths, bureaucrats and criminals humanity moves on regardless and will, I feel be finding, very shortly that the likes of Obama, Blair, Brown, Cameron and Milliband will no longer be needed.

I’ll see you on Alpha Centauri






Are the GDC fit for purpose?

By Members, Newsletters

Unless you have been living under a rock the last couple of weeks, you will by now realise that the GDC are proposing increasing your ARF to over £900. 

Not a brilliant state of affairs if you ask me.  It’s not so much the money that is the issue.  It’s the fact that an increase of 64% shows just how damaged the GDC are.  If this goes through, your ARF will be over two and a half times what the medics pay, you know the people who can prescribe narcotics and make life or death decisions about patients lives every day.

But what can you as a dentist do?  If you don’t pay it, you can’t open up your surgery door after December 31st without being guilty of a criminal offence.  You can’t rely on the BDA, because they are about as useful as a condom machine in the Vatican.

No whatever you do has to be legal.  And it has to be done in unison with thousands of others.  If 5 dentists speak out, nothing happens.  If 25,000 dentists speak out, eyebrows are raised, because dentists are renowned for their lack of unity.  So here are some ideas: 

Sign the official parliament petition 

Sign the unofficial petition

Like the ARF protest facebook page

Make a freedom of information request into the GDC’s finances

 Suggested questions?  Try these from Derek Watson

  • Please send me a list of current fees that can be claimed from the GDC by any subcontractor (not employees).
  • What fees are currently claimed by members of the GDC’s Fitness to Practice Committees?
  • How many Fitness to Practice Committees were held in the most recent calendar year for which figures are available?


Write to the GDC’s external auditors with you concerns

Fairfax House
15 Fulwood Place,

The Auditor General
Amyas C E Morse
National Audit Office
157-197 Buckingham Palace Road

Write to lord Howe, explaining the situation.  Explain that if he actually wants dentistry to work in this country then the government has to do something.  Point out that the proposals, due to tax relief, will lose the UK treasury £5 million a year.

The (Rt Hon. the) Earl Howe
House of Lords

Write to the BDA.  Tell them what you think and DEMAND action 

Michael Armstrong Esq.,
Principal Executive Committee
British Dental Association
64 Wimpole Street

Write to the GDPC and DEMAND action

John Milne Esq.,
General Dental Practice Committee
British Dental Association
64 Wimpole Street

The GDC are governed by statutue law, and thus you should read the Dentists Act 1984

And finally write to Bill Moyes and tell him what you think.

37 Wimpole Street
London W1G 8DQ

Hard physical letters are better than emails where possible 

No Regulator can function without the consent of the regulated.  And no statute law can function without the consent of the governed.  And nothing may come of all this, your actions may be completely pointless.  BUT, if you sit back and do nothing, you will show the GDC and their ilk that the way is clear to do as they wish when they wish.

It’s in your hands.  How you act is entirely up to you

The Excellence of mediocrity

By Members, Newsletters

I appear to have a brief hiatus in my law degree, so thought I would discuss something that has been running around my head recently.

The science of human excellence is exploding. Fifty years ago it was uncommon to see people exercising. Yoga classes were limited to the 60’s hippy cult. Jogging was for Olympic athletes. And health food revolved around eating yoghurt. How things have changed, in more ways than one.

The science and technology of health has exploded, to the extent that there are now multiple ways for you to lose weight, gain muscle and exercise…. Some of which actually work (lets face it, the majority are BS). Examples of people with ripped physiques and nutritionally complex dietary requirements cover the media, both social and conventional. Thin and beautiful people adorn the TV shows, and marketers use the Gods and Goddesses to sell their wares. The Aliens watching our TV broadcasts must think we are all a race of genetic superwo/men.

And conversely the opposite is true. The population of the west has never been fatter and unhealthier. Heart disease, diabetes, HBP and cancer are at record levels. It has never been easier to eat unhealthily. It has never been more acceptable to be unhealthy. The 20 stone gastronimic goliaths that wander the American Hypermarts would be viewed as freaks merely 100 years ago

What the hell is going on?

Well I actually think it’s quite simple. Human excellence is taking off at a geometric rate. But so is human imperfection. We are becoming better at being flawed, we are in fact starting to excel at it.

You can now develop a dental practice that thrives and makes vast profits. You can do composite fillings that look just like natural dentition and restore a mouth that just ten years ago would have required full dentures. You can develop a staff culture of empathy and growth and create an atmosphere in your practice where people feel at home, where they feel part of the family.

You, as an individual have the right and the opportunity to develop excellence in your life with regards to something, even if it’s just carving amalgams. Excellence in health, business, your relationships and your finances is there for you to grab and run with.

Or you can make excuses and excel in mediocrity. The thing is, there is no judgment here, because at the end of the day we all end up in the same ground. Some of us just want to go to work, do basic dentistry, go home put our feet up and watch our lives pass us by as spectators. To me that is a perfectly acceptable life plan, so long as you have consciously thought it through. Hell, if you want to sit eating cheese burgers and playing video games, then who am I to tell you otherwise. The opportunities to be mediocre are boundless. With the quality found on TV these days, you could spend your entire days watching Game of Thrones etc.

And despite the challenges the socialist elite put in front of us, some of us still want to reach for perfection. Unfortunately perfection should never be the goal, as it is unattainable. It is not after all the goal that is your meaning. The joy and the essence of life is in the striving towards the goal. Once the goal is attained, it soon gets replaced by another. If you live your life for your destination, you will miss the beauty, the challenges, the joys and the learnings of the journey.

But just as there is nothing wrong with mediocrity, there is nothing wrong in trying. The problem arises when people look at their lives and judge it compared to the lives of others. That is something you should never do. You cannot compare yourself to others, because you are not them and they are not you.

It is often said that if you do what successful people do you too will be successful. I don’t think that is strictly true, because how do you define success. You might wish to obtain the business success of Mr X, but are you willing to accept the fact that he has been divorced 5 times, and is on several drugs for stress induced High blood pressure. You might want the body of Mrs Y, but are you even able to spend the 4 hours a day in the gym she spends, or eat the strict dietary regimen that she swears by.

But you can design yourself a life. You can set out how you want it to look, how much you need to earn, what you want to eat, what you will tolerate and what you won’t allow. Now some of you have done this, and you find that as the years go on, the things you originally wanted don’t become that important. Some of the things you never attain. Think about it this way, how many people win Olympic gold? And how many people try. And yet, year on year, people still try.

The height of human excellence is being true to yourself. It matters not what car you drive, the size of your house, the fatness of your wallet or the achievements of your offspring. Human excellence is your own personal honesty.

• Because material goods can be taken from you
• Business success can be destroyed by one fateful decision
• Your offspring can go off the rails
• If the healthiest person can have a health crisis
• And living your life to impress others? Nobody else cares, and if you give them chance to see you fall, they will line up with enough popcorn to watch the entire show

The only thing that matters is that deep in your heart you are living your life to your core values. There is no point owning a multi billion pound company if your health is in the crapper. There is no point having a beautiful wife with fabulous kids if you are sticking your John Thomas into everything that moves. There is no point having material wealth if your heart is dead inside. So long as you actions don’t hurt or disadvantage others, just be your fecking self and be damned what anyone else thinks.

That’s the way it look from here

What do you Believe?

By Members, Newsletters

Looks like I had the time to do another newsletter after all :)

Today I want to talk about beliefs.  Your beliefs will mould and shape your actions, and your actions will shape and mould your destiny.  It is my belief that, if you do consistently what successful people do, you too will be successful.

There you go, an example of a belief.  The problem with most people is they have beliefs that they didn’t consciously create.  Life and experience created their beliefs for them.  As an example, finish the following

  • Life is……….
  • Rich people are………..
  • The government is……………
  • The poor are………….

Most of you will come up with different answers.  Someone who believes life is a game will have a different outlook to someone who believes life is a struggle.  Someone whose belief is that Rich people are “scum” will find it very difficult to become one of them.

Of course this is all very basic, and there is much more to the psychology of achievement than my rather glib statements, but I think you get the idea.  I have many beliefs stuck in my noggin that I don’t really know where they came from.  Some of them I can articulate, some of them are like wisps of vapour;  I get a hint of them, but can’t quite see the impact that they have.  And my beliefs are different on different days. 

On one day a person who cuts me up in traffic is a “tosser”.  On another, it’s someone who is preoccupied due to a family emergency.  I don’t deny that I am sometimes vague, vain, scared, angry, disappointed, depleted, and nihilistic.  Not particularly positive traits, but its part of what is known as being human.  It is impossible to be perfect (oh look a belief) and I have found it better to accept than deny the very things that make us different from our ape cousins. 

Perfection is an illusion, and a very powerful illusion at that.  It is shoved in our faces all the time.  From the perfect veneer cases in the dental rags, to the promise of beauty, wealth and sex pumped by marketers.  And as we travel further into the digital age, that illusion will grow stronger.

And the other day, I was sat thinking what would be my perfect dental practice and how I could achieve it.  I could see what it would look like, how many surgeries and the makeup of who would work there.  Of course it’s a pipe dream.  And also a catch 22 situation.  To attain it I should have started 15 years ago, but then I didn’t even know my arse from a hole in the ground.  The person I am now is not the person I was then….. because my beliefs are different.  And whilst I have the skills and knowledge needed to now create my dental Nirvana, I probably don’t have the time…… and frankly I’m not sure I have the constitution.  The investment alone needed to attain my pipe dream would create a wage slave for at least the next 10 years, and I’m sorry I’m not prepared to take on that level of debt with where I see the economy going. 

Do you see how beliefs shape our destiny?  Beliefs will often be the difference between a dentist facing bankruptcy and a dentist living a millionaire lifestyle.  So let me tell you some of  my beliefs.

  • I believe that our government is corrupt and sociopathic, and that they are only like this because we let them get away with it.
  • I believe that the economy is heading for a nosedive that will make 2008 look like a picnic
  • I believe that the rise in litigation is not so much due to lawyers, but due to the dentists themselves
  • And I believe that people are inherently flawed, but that this is a strength not a weakness.

Sorry, that’s a bit miserable isn’t it.  So let me expand on those beliefs, because beliefs have layers.

Yes I believe that governments are corrupt, but that’s good.  The present financial/political/legal system we have now is obsolete and bloated and needs to change.  It will only change when the people decide that they have had enough, and I believe this will happen.  Whilst some also hold this belief, they veer off from me in that they see us descending into a “Mad Max” era.  Whilst change would be challenging, even traumatic, I believe that the system that will soon evolve will be superior to where we are now, and will eventually see mankind transcend to a species that calls the whole galaxy their home.  It might not be in my lifetime, but it would be interesting if it was.

Whilst I believe the economy is due for a significant correction, it is something that is long overdue.  Those who are prepared will prosper, and from the ashes will rise a technological system that will be fairer and healthier.  People forget that recessions are necessary, that they cull the businesses that have no business being in business (if you will pardon the pun).  Those that survive will soar. 

We presently have a profession that lives by the cult of ego.  The guru is king, and there is a taste in the back of the throat, a perception that profit is more important than doing what is ethically right.  For example, there are too many implants being placed by too many dentists in too many patients that are not suitable.  And as the research comes out showing that implants aren’t as stable, aren’t as suitable and aren’t the panacea we were told, we will start to alter our methods.  We will stop listening to the dental reps and their promises, and will turn to science for our answers.  We will stop using Social Media Special Offers, and realise that HEALTH and empathy are the keys to our success.  There is too much litigation because there are too many dentists either doing too much of the wrong thing, or too many dentists not doing enough of the right thing.

We should relish our flaws.  We castrate on a the alter of perfection politicians who stray, who show weakness and imperfection…… and yet we are imperfect ourselves.  I don’t want the leaders of my country to be flawless political clones.  I want a human being, with desires and fears.  I want someone who has lived in the real world, who knows how business is run and is willing to honestly take the hard choices, regardless of whether s/he gets back into office.  And I want a leader who will take a corporate lobbyist by the scruff of the neck and kick them out of the hallowed halls of Parliament.  

It is my belief that the world is about to change, and if you are ready it may well be the best time of your life.  So get in the car, strap in and grab on…………because this is going to be one hell of a ride.

Website update

By Members, Newsletters

Just a quick note to let you know that several of the products on the website will be withdrawn over the coming weeks.


The Practice Systems Templates will be removed as it is now incorporated in the CQC compliance product.  The CQC compliance will be due an update as the CQC are changing the way they inspect practices.  


The Mastermind Alliance product will be removed because nobody, it seems, is interested in Goal setting.  It’s a shame because setting effective goals is one of the keys to financial independence –



Stephen Hudson