The big conversation

07 Feb 2011

For me, the start of each new season is like a breath of fresh air – and none is more welcome than spring. By the next issue of Smile, I’m ready to wave goodbye to the dark days of winter and eager for the new energy that spring brings. 

Spring 2011 is going to be an exciting time for the BSDHT. Not only are we relaunching our website, complete with a new look and improved content, but I also hope to have made further headway in the Big Conversation.

Time to talk

As you know, dentistry is facing many complex changes and there has never been a more important time to be a member of your professional society. Our mission is to open up dialogue between our 4,000-strong members and urge them to get in touch, not only with us but also with fellow dental hygienists and dental therapists, to share their valued opinions. 

The BSDHT is a nationally recognised body and we exist to look after the interests of our members and profession. Previous BSDHT Presidents and executive teams have worked hard to nurture firm relationships with many organisations within the wider dental arena. We have ongoing dialogue with these organisations as well as the main groups representing other dental care professionals.

By joining the Big Conversation, we would like our members to take part in shaping the future of the BSDHT as an organisation and making a difference to the profession by getting your opinions heard.

I have already vowed to visit as many regional group meetings as possible during my term of office to ensure that I meet, speak and listen to as many members as possible. I expect to hear some fascinating insights from those in dental practices, hospitals, the forces – wherever members of our valued profession are working to treat, maintain and improve the dental health of the nation.


Our new website will make it even easier for the BSDHT team to interact with our membership. For those who already make use of social networking sites Facebook and Twitter, you’ll be delighted to hear that BSDHT will soon be launching a Facebook page and we’ll be joining the Twittering ranks too. I have to admit to being a little wary of the suggestion of the BSDHT becoming involved in social networking when it was added to the agenda of our executive team meeting! I had very little personal experience in this huge phenomenon. Learning more about it has opened my eyes to its value in reaching out to people and its power as a communication tool.

We hope to be able to let you know BSDHT news faster and more efficiently with the use of social networking.

You tell us

The “You tell us” button on the BSDHT homepage at will also be active again soon. This will allow you to give your input on a variety of topics that the BSDHT executive team would like your thoughts and opinions on. All you will need to do is visit the BSDHT website, click on the button and share your thoughts when the survey becomes live. We expect to launch the next survey in late spring. These are just a few examples of the topics we are planning to ask you about:

• We would like to know how many of you routinely work with a dental nurse or chaperone.

• We want to know what form your referrals from a dentist currently take. Are they detailed or just an outline treatment plan?

• We would like to know how you feel about your working conditions and environment in the light of the many changes happening in the profession.

• We want to ask how often you use the BSDHT website and if you find what you are looking for.

• Are you happy with the CPD that BSDHT provide?

• What sort of articles would you like to see in the BSDHT Journal, Dental Health and our publication DH Contact? Would you prefer if they were more scientific, or clinically-based?

The information we receive from your answers will help us to build a better picture of our membership, highlight the challenges faced in our working lives and help us understand the issues that are most important. We hope that by obtaining this picture, we can build objectives, plans and advice to help.

By sharing our thoughts and experiences, we can ensure that our united voice strikes a positive chord within the dental industry and among the general public.

 So, members and potential new members, we urge you to visit our website at over the coming months to check out our new site and join our Big Conversation. What do you have to say? We look forward to hearing your opinions.  

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