Back to the future for dental payment plan company
 

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Back to the future for dental payment plan company

 

Back to the future for dental payment plan company

The Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel played host to this year's Denplan National Conference, which took place 11-13 September.

The venue boasts two golf courses – the setting for the Friday morning's golf challenge – a health club and a spa, meaning there was something to please everyone.

Denplan's managing director, Steve Gates, began the proceedings by taking a look back 18 months ago at the last conference and discussing the direction in which Denplan is going. His presentation was engaging, with references to the Back to the Future films, the theme for the conference.

According to Mr Gates: ‘It's important to have a plan, like Doc Brown always does.' This is why Denplan has pinpointed the changes that are starting to be seen in the NHS as a challenge to private practices.

As the Department of Health is looking to increase access, the NHS will be investing money in areas where there is a need for NHS dentistry, and he suggested that this will have a large impact on private practices in these areas. Added to this, during an election year the Government is likely to expand the NHS.

Mr Gates added: ‘One of our challenges is to work closely with you and support you.' The company will consequently be proactive in talking to dentists about practice decline in order to support them through these testing economic times.

Development
The chief dental officer at Denplan, Roger Matthews, then took to the stage to give an accomplished speech, even though his presentation slides ended up in the wrong order! He comically began by discussing the state of NHS dentistry, beginning: ‘The first signs of disas… erm, development are in progress,' before moving on to talk about the Warburton dental access contract. Dr Matthews likened it to the GP contract, stating that it is ‘overwhelmingly one-sided', as well as twice as long and more restrictive.

He discussed how Denplan's Excel for children scheme – similar to the existing Excel programme, but tailor-made to the needs of younger patients – can help raise the quality of children's dentistry, by ‘concentrating on more than caries'. The Excel programme is designed to give patients reassurance in their dentist via anĀ  accreditation system. Having a dedicated version for children gives the same peace of mind to parents that their children will receive expert care specific to their needs.

On the other end of the scale, he highlighted a need to address an ageing population. More people are keeping their own teeth now, which requires attention to preventive care for this demographic.
The new Denplan Stairway Programme is the outcome of the company's huge development in its training output. Dr Matthews explained how this is made up of 12 modules, all of which qualify for verifiable CPD and credits towards an MSc.

Entertaining
The crowd was then treated to a very amusing speech from William Hague MP who told a variety of light-hearted stories and entertained the whole room. He recalled visiting soldiers in Basra with David Cameron after they had been in a mortar attack, ‘I said to one soldier, “The only thing worse than being in a mortar attack on Sunday afternoon is being visited by two Conservative party leaders.” And do you know what he said? “It's on a par sir”. And you can't say fairer than that!'

His anecdotes kept the attention of the whole crowd, with much laughter had by all. He said: ‘Politics is quite different from any other business – imagine having a shareholders meeting every day where all the shareholders are trying to get rid of the manager?'

At the close of his speech, delegates were invited to ask questions, and many took this opportunity to keep within the comical spirit of the day. One person asked: ‘I've heard if you left Westminster you'd have a career in stand-up, what do you think – perhaps next June – Gordon Brown could do?' To which William Hague responded: ‘Well he'd be standing, but I don't think it will be comical… I don't know really, I don't care! Perhaps, if you're having this conference next year, he might not cost much', an answer which caused much amusement within the audience.

All in all, the opening of the Denplan National Conference was entertaining and, hopefully, set a precedent for the remainder of the weekend. Added to this, those taking part in the new Denplan Stairway Programme could gain two credits towards it.


 Posted on : Mon 19th - Oct - 2009

 

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