Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Dr Tariq Drabu Affair and Media Department Latest Bulletin

The Dr Tariq Drabu affair and media department has just published its latest bulletin with survey results of its service users.
The Dr Tariq Drabu affair and media department is led by a small dedicated team consisting of myself, Dr Tariq Drabu, Matthew Hodkinson the clinical director of the Langley Dental Group and Kristy Miller the senior receptionist. It has been set up with the aim of increasing revenue streams and increasing the number of new patients being referred to the practice and also a widening of the referral base for specialist dental services.
The latest bulletin of the Dr Tariq Drabu affair and media department has been to share the results of feedback from service users. This has been in the form of a written questionnaire. With the advent of inspections from the regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), it is very important that we as dental professionals focus on the quality of care delivered to our patients and how our patients actually perceive that care. Here at the Langley Dental Practice we recently had an inspection from the CQC and we passed it and were declared compliant in all areas inspected. One of the areas that was examined was the issue of the care and welfare of people who use our services. The CQC were looking for evidence that people should get safe and appropriate care that meets then needs and supports their rights.
The written survey questionnaire was filled in by a representative sample of 85 service users who had all recently received treatment at the practice.
In terms of responses to questions there was a 100% positive response rate to the quality of care received at the practice. All respondents reported care as being either outstanding or good. Patients were asked why they had chosen the practice and over 75% of patients stated that they had chosen the practice based on its reputation. Around 70% of patients had not visited the practice website - so we need to make sure that the Dr Tariq Drabu affair and media department gets focused on targeting our online message as widely as possible to as many current and potential service users as it can. I will set this as an important priority for us.
Over 80% of patients asked were able to get an appointment at a time and date that was convenient to them with the vast majority of appointments being made over the telephone. Around the same number strongly agreed that their appointment was given within a reasonable timeframe, with 100% of respondents either agreeing or strongly agreeing that the person who booked their appointment at the reception was courteous and helpful.
On the day of their appointment all patients either agreed or strongly agreed that they were made to feel welcome at the practice and felt that the reception and waiting area was clean and pleasant. 90% of respondents were seen on time or within 5 minutes of their appointed time. All respondents felt that they were treated with respect by the dental nurse and the dentist with 90% strongly agreeing that the dentist had been kind and considerate. All respondents felt that they had understood what was being proposed with 75% understanding their charges. Another task of the Dr Tariq Drabu affair and media department will be to ensure that there is clarity around our pricing structure so that patients fully understand what they are paying for and whether treatment is NHS or private. We want to be as transparent and open and up front as possible about our charges to avoid any misunderstandings.
I am pleased with the work of the Dr Tariq Drabu affair and media department to date. Looking at these findings the vast majority of patients are happy with the practice. A lot of patients have highlighted the friendliness of the staff and the cleanliness of the practice as being an important factor in making their dental experience a pleasant one. We will look at the areas where we feel shortcomings may have been highlighted in order to try and correct these perceived shortcomings. These survey results confirm that Langley Dental Practice continues to provide a strong focussed first class service to its patients. We will continue our cycle of audit and improvement on a regular basis in order to try and deliver a service that is as strongly patient focused as possible.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Dr Tariq Drabu DF1 Affairs 2013

Dental foundation training (DF1) affairs are in the news again.
The UK Committee of Postgraduate Dental Deans and Directors (COPDEND) announced last month that 1,139 applicants will be competing for the estimated 952 funded DF1 training places in NHS practices that will be available in 2013. 1026 of the applicants are current students at or recent graduates from UK dental schools. The interview processes for these applications are currently taking place at selected sites throughout the UK including Greater Manchester.
All new dental graduates are supposed to be given a DF1 training place in a practice in the first year after graduation. In fact a few years ago in response to a shortage of NHS dentists, the government created an additional 77 new dental places by opening two new dental schools, UCLAN and Peninsula. However last year 35 new graduate dentists ended up without a training place job. I cannot imagine how desperately demoralising and shattering this experience must have been for these new graduate dentists.
In 2005 the Chief Dental Officer giving evidence to the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Commons stated that it cost the taxpayer £250,000 to train each student dentist. That was seven years ago. According to the latest figures from COPDEND we could possibly end up with around 50 unemployed graduate dentists. Last year it was 35. If you add that all up in today’s money, that makes a figure of more than £12 million of wasted taxpayers’ money this year plus £9 million wasted last year with 35 unemployed dental graduates – a frightening total of £21 million. On top of that these students are leaving universities with levels of debt approaching £50,000. If last year’s state of affairs is duplicated it will be heartbreaking for new graduate dentists and a waste of time and money for the taxpayer.
Trying to find your first job in the run up to your final dental examinations must be an extremely stressful experience. To go through a difficult complicated application procedure and rigorous interview process, only not to be allocated a place must be extremely demoralising and distressing. To make matters worse we now have a large influx of new European Union graduates where the economy has hit a downturn who do not even have to do foundation training yet some of them have actually got places on the foundation training scheme.
We know that the government has to make cutbacks and that we live in an era where difficult choices have to be made. However it is a crazy state of affairs that the NHS invests £250,000 in training a new dentist only for that dentist not to be able to find a job within the NHS. With this round of applications for 2013 foundation dental places well underway I urge the government to make sufficient funds available for all DF1 dental foundation training places as a matter of priority.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Tariq Drabu Clarity on Tooth Whitening Affairs at Last!

The legislation and complexities around the issue of teeth whitening and solution concentration have been taxing us for a few years. In December 2007 an opinion from the independent EU Scientific Committee on Consumer Products (SCCP) on the safety of teeth whitening products made it clear that, for products between 0.1% and 6% hydrogen peroxide or equivalent, a clinical examination is needed before teeth whitening takes place and that the amount and volume of the product dispensed must be controlled.

From 31 October 2012 the government has basically fallen into line with this EU directive. This means that:

Products containing more than 0.1% hydrogen peroxide cannot be provided direct to the consumers or public.
Products containing between 0.1% and 6% hydrogen peroxide can only be sold to dental practitioners.
These products can only be made available to patients following an examination - by  definition that would be a clinical procedure which would have to be undertaken by a dentist. The first session of whitening treatment should be provided by a dentist, or by a hygienist or therapist under supervision of a dentist after which they can be provided to the patient to complete the cycle of use.
Products containing between 0.1% and 6% hydrogen peroxide should not be used on under 18s.
Products containing over 6% hydrogen peroxide are illegal to use.

Some dentists as an alternative to hydrogen peroxide are using carbamide peroxide and 6% hydrogen peroxide equates to just over 16% of carbamide peroxide.

A lot of the so-called teeth whitening clinics are using products such as chlorine dioxide and sodium perborate. These are not appropriate products for teeth whitening and have question marks around safety attached to them. So with so-called teeth whitening clinics, what we actually have in effect are a group of people who are illegally practising dentistry, selling products that are dangerous for health to a public that is unsuspecting and is looking for what they think is a cheap bargain. Why on earth would people want to compromise their health in this way by using organisations and companies that are providing an service that does not fall within any recognised framework of regulation or scrutiny?

The so-called cosmetic teeth whitening companies try and put forward the myth of greedy dentists ripping off the public claiming that we want to charge anything between £350 and £700 for whitening. Here at Langley Dental Practice we start our teeth whitening prices at just £199 for both upper and lower teeth and this includes a full detailed consultation with an experienced British educated, qualified and trained dentist, somebody who is skilled in the art and science of looking after your teeth - not a "cosmetic technician" or "beauty therapist" or even worse somebody working out of the back of a van who comes to your home. We work to the best standards in a safe, controlled and predictable manner, always putting the patients' interests first and using the most up to date materials and highest standards of cross infection control. Our practice has to comply with and has met stringent regulations enforced by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in terms of patient safety and quality of care. We also have to provide high standards and meet tough requirements in terms of clinical waste disposal and environmental regulations. All of these regulations carry a financial cost. None of these so-called tooth whitening companies have anything like the same level of regulation and scrutiny attached to them. In fact in many cases they work with no regulation or scrutiny whatsoever.

Iam glad that we had last have some clarity and a strong lead from the government around the issue of teeth whitening. We now need strong leadership from the General Dental Council (GDC) at a national level and Trading Standards Officers at a local level. I continue to support the GDC position that illegal teeth whitening by non dentists is a criminal offence. I hope we see further action from the GDC including some very public prosecutions. I welcome the latest government guidelines and hope that these can give local Trading Standards Officers a strong lead with which to enforce good safe regulations around teeth whitening for public protection.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Tariq Drabu Affair and Media Department Survey

One of the first tasks for the Tariq Drabu affair and media department has been to gain feedback from service users of our specialist services. This has been in the form of a written questionnaire. The questionnaire was sent to previous service users of the specialist oral surgery service that has been running at Langley Dental Practice since 2004. The survey focused on three key areas:

  1. The patient experience following referral and prior to the initial consultation appointment.
  2. The patient experience at consultation.
  3. The patient experience at treatment.

In terms of questioning about the experience around the referral and prior to the initial consultation appointment patients were asked if they were happy to see a specialist in oral surgery rather than having treatment at their own dentist. 95% of respondents were happy at seeing a specialist in oral surgery. The remaining 5% were a little bit unclear as to why they had been referred although they did feel that their visit at consultation clarified any misunderstanding. Around 80% of respondents were also happy at being able to book a convenient date and time of appointment. The same 80% were very happy with the management of the booking service which is contracted out to an external booking office run by the local primary care trust. 90% of patients were happy with the time they had to wait for an initial appointment which is a very pleasing result. This particular statistic from the Tariq Drabu affair and media department is an excellent statistic in terms of our ability to deliver high-quality services.
Moving onto the experience at consultation two key questions focused around the time spent at consultation with a specialist and whether the service users had a full understanding of what their treatment involved. 98% of respondents declared themselves either very happy or happy with the time spent a consultation. When I see these figures from the Tariq Drabu affair and media department I am truly thrilled and humbled at such positive feedback. All respondents declared that they had either completely understood or understood to a satisfactory degree what treatment was being proposed and what the likely outcomes and complications were.
In terms of the treatment provided questions focused on aspects of quality, trust, confidentiality and respect and dignity. Again very high marks were received in terms of feedback particularly focusing on the quality and cleanliness of the practice. Respondents commented on the friendly nature of the staff and how they were made to feel relaxed for what were technically quite difficult and possibly stressful procedures.
I am delighted with the results of this survey from the Tariq Drabu affair and media department and welcome the feedback given to us by service users. I hope that this will allow us to push on to improve our services to patients within our locality in the coming months and years ahead.
Further information about the specialist oral surgery services provided can be found at

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Tariq Drabu a Sad Affair at Belfast Dental School

 A recent widely publicised critical report by the General Dental Council (GDC) has reported on the lack of leadership and serious failings at Belfast School of dentistry at Queens University undergraduate dental course. This is a sad state of affairs at Belfast. The General Dental Council report stated that the school's Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree program was in a "fragile state".
In 2005 the Chief Dental Officer giving evidence to the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Commons stated that it cost the taxpayer £250000 to train each student dentist. That was seven years ago. If the state of affairs is worse now than it was then this is bad. With that level of investment in a new dental graduate one would expect a degree of proficiency and competency in basic procedures such as dental extractions and routine dental care. T
he GDC report into Belfast dental school highlighted shortcomings in the training program for undergraduates and the need for more specialist teachers. This is a worrying state of affairs. It also highlighted issues around the level of clinical experiences that students were getting in areas such as routine restorative dentistry and oral surgery, again a worrying state of affairs.
I have trained, mentored and lectured to over 500 dentists at postgraduate level in oral surgery over the past decade and over the years that I have been teaching and training dentists in oral surgery I have noticed a decline in standards competence and ability particularly amongst younger graduates. This is a worrying state of affairs because we would all expect our dentists to be able to undertake simple and even slightly complex dental extractions without fear or apprehension. This is not a problem that is specific to Belfast Dental School. All undergraduate dental institutions need to take a closer look at themselves and the experience that they are providing to new graduates in oral surgery.
My recommendation for undergraduate dental teaching would be that no student could graduate unless they had completed a specified number of routine dental extractions and were observed to be competent in the management of those extractions. They would also have to complete a specified number of complex or surgical extractions and be certified as competent in those as well.
As a regulator the General Dental Council needs to step up to the plate and working with dental schools recommend what they feel is a suitable number of procedures that need to be done. They are the guardians of patient safety and must be proactive in dealing with this matter rather than reactive. Rigorous inspections are one aspect of promoting patient safety. However the GDC must do more and be seen to do more in order to promote high standards amongst new dental graduates. They cannot just sit and leave a passive state of affairs. It is a worrying state of affairs when there is a degree of anxiety amongst the profession about the level of ability and competence of new graduates. These concerns are mirrored by the recent GDC report into Belfast University. I would hope that all dental institutions take on board the recommendations of the GDC report and alter their teaching programmes accordingly

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Tariq Drabu Affair and Media Department

I have today launched the Tariq Drabu affair and media department.
With so many changes in marketing and advertising happening almost on a daily basis it is important that we at the Langley Dental Group stay focused and relevant with our message to our client base. The Tariq Drabu affair and media department will cover not only issues around the Langley Dental Group Limited but also the wider promotion of our specialist services to patients.
The Tariq Drabu affair and media department will look at different aspects of marketing and advertising. It will look at targeted advertising within both local print media and also seek to enhance its online presence. The Tariq Drabu affair and media department will also undertake a strong social networking and Internet marketing campaign in order to promote brand awareness of the Langley Dental Group Limited.
Our practice has been offering specialist dental services to patients for the past eight years. However the creation of the Tariq Drabu affair and media department will enhance awareness amongst local referring practitioners and those who wish to refer from out with our locality.
The creation of the Tariq Drabu affair and media department will consolidate the Langley Dental Group's strong existing presence and take it to new level is in areas that have not been explored before. It will allow us to target our current and future client base more effectively. We look forward to evaluating the results after six months.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Tariq Drabu Affair CQC

You may wondering about the strange affair as to why I have not been blogging recently. Well here is why.
On Monday 22 October am we received a phone call at the practice from a CQC compliance inspector who wanted to come on Wednesday, 24 October am. I pointed out that on Wednesday, 24 October I would be on my regular oral surgery teaching slot at the University of Central Lancashire. I also pointed out the clinical director was on a mentoring course on the same day at the University of Central Lancashire. I also advised that the senior receptionist who had collated all the documentation and the senior cross infection nurse were both on half term holiday that particular week.
He wanted to come on Thursday 25th of October at which I pointed out I (as registered manager) would be on holiday for Eid ul Adha. I explained that I was not being awkward but that this particular week there was a combination of affairs which would have made an inspection somewhat difficult. He was extremely understanding and very pleasant on the phone and therefore agreed to come on Monday, 29 October.
Rather than wishing to take any chances I decided to cancel my whole morning of patients off for the inspection. This particular compliance inspector was from Rochdale but he had done a lot of dental practices in the Huddersfield and Wakefield areas. Feedback from other colleagues in the Rochdale area have indicated that they had had female compliance inspectors who had not really done many dental practices. His background was not from social care. His original degree was in pharmaceuticals. He had previously been employed by the Healthcare commission. Therefore his approach was far more sensible and relevant in terms of affairs like mental capacity act and restraint. These were topics that were not really touched. He pointed out that a lot of the CQC compliance inspectors have come from social care backgrounds and therefore they were looking at aspects such as the mental capacity act and vulnerable adults and children. However he also pointed out that many of the other non social care background inspectors were trying to make the inspections more focused towards affairs that a dental practice really should be dealing with on a day-to-day basis.Therefore the outcomes that he was looking at work as follows
Care and welfare
Cleanliness and infection control
He pointed out that future inspections of the practice would probably cover other aspects of the outcomes framework.
He was very civilised pleasant and understanding. He arrived at 10 AM and left around 12 PM. Around 75 minutes were spent specifically dealing with affairs around cross infection and cleanliness. This included seeing how we set up in the morning and what the facilities were in the decontamination rooms. He wanted to look at all the audit records in terms of the washer disinfectors and autoclaves, servicing, legionella and wanted to see how we dealt with instruments from start to finish. He indicated that CQC were not really so focussed on HTM0105 affairs but were guided by the Dept of Health Prevention and Control of Infection Document (108 pages long!) when looking at outcomes. I have to say that Sharon my cross infection nurse was absolutely outstanding. She was confident articulate and came across superbly. He did not have a specific tick list of what to go through but did it all from his head and wrote everything down by hand on paper. My senior receptionist Kristy made sure that every single folder and item of paperwork that could possibly be needed was laid down in a logical fashion in the surgery that I was not working in that morning. I am not sure how as an inspector he would remember everything that he had to cover but I guess having done so many practices he pretty much knew what he was looking for. He made it clear that he was not here to catch us out or make life difficult for us but if necessary would give advice and guidance. The main recommendation that he gave us was that Sharon’s role as cross infection nurse lead should be formalised in some written form as part of her job description. I was more than happy to take this on board.
The rest of the inspection was fairly short and really was looking through all the relevant paperwork and evidence that we complied with issues such as consent. He managed to interview a couple of patients. My reception staff were somewhat astounded that this particular Monday morning was one of the quietest they can ever remember. He promised us a draft report within a week and true to his word it was there by Thursday i.e. after three days.
All in all I’m glad it is all over. I will not deny that it was a very stressful week in the run-up to the inspection even though we are a VT training practice and also have BDA Good Practice. It is just that fear and apprehension of “have we got every single item of paperwork that we need together or is there something missing.”
He said that the next round of inspections commences 2013/2014. So you never know if we are really lucky we could get another inspection next year! :?
Tariq Drabu