A new era, a new Chairman – The Association of Dental Groups (ADG)Featured Products Promotional Features
Posted by: The Probe 1st April 2019
The Association of Dental Groups (ADG) is a professional trade organisation whose members are dental providers and employers that operate corporate or group models to serve private and/or NHS patients in the UK. It is committed, above all else, to improving access and quality of dentistry for patients across the nation.
As the ADG enters a new era in its history, it is delighted to introduce Mr Neil Carmichael as its new Chairman.
Neil served as a Member of Parliament for Stroud Valleys and Vale from 2010 to 2017, and was Chair of the Education Selection Committee from 2015 to 2017. He previously established two Parliamentary Party Groups – Governance and Leadership in Education, and Vascular Diseases.
“I have always been interested in public policy and in making sure that public services – in as wide a sense as possible – are properly promoted and navigated through the world of politics, decision making and government,” he comments. “I was in the House of Commons for seven years so I appreciate the importance of getting complex arguments across as necessary when decisions were being made in Whitehall.”
Having kept abreast of healthcare policies over the years, Neil understands what dentistry means for the wider sector and for the well-being of the general public. He says:
“I think that dentistry needs to be recognised as a really important part of public health. Having access to a good dental practice is critical for both people’s oral health and general well-being. It seems to me that we need to put dentistry right at the top of the political and policy agenda.
“I have four main objectives that I hope to see achieved while fulfilling my role as Chairman of the ADG. The first is to make sure that the ADG is one of the first ports of call when decision makers are thinking about the future of dentistry. The ADG should be even more widely acknowledged as a critical contact for constructive engagement with policy makers in this area.
“The second objective would be to tackle some of the issues affecting the sector as a whole right now, such as workforce planning. We need to consider where dental professionals will come from in the future and how we might encourage them to continue working as dentists in the UK. That leads on nicely to the third area I hope to focus on – a lot of work needs to be done regarding the relationship between dentists, dental professionals and the NHS. The contract, in particular, still requires attention, and with a breadth of combined knowledge and experiences, ADG members are well placed to remain involved in the reform process as it unfolds.
“Finally, I believe it is critical that we think very carefully about how the general public is served by the dental profession. Dental groups have a very strong role to play in this, as they have the opportunity and the passion to become active promoters and guardians of high standards across the profession.”
These are, of course, difficult political times and so the challenge is certainly to help the right people understand the importance of dentistry and the potential consequences good dental care can have on other areas of the NHS and general health of the nation. For example, effective preventive dental care could help to reduce the number of children requiring extractions in hospitals. This would not only improve child oral health in the UK, but also lessen the burden on an already strained workforce and reduce the overall cost to the NHS. Neil is passionate and practical about how the ADG could help to affect change.
“We need to produce solutions that are both appropriate and deliverable for the issues currently being faced. Working through our policy ideas and converting them into well-researched policy papers is the first step. We may be approaching this from the perspective of dental providers, but our ultimate aim is always to improve the dental environment for the benefit of patients.
“To the same end, it’s also very important that we engage thoroughly with all stakeholders – of which there are many in this sector. We all need to understand each other’s roles and work together in order to achieve outcomes that serve the best interests of both the profession and patients. The ADG will be reaching out to more dental groups in the coming months to seek their input and invite them to join our crusade, giving us an even stronger voice.
“Having attended my first ADG Board and Members’ meeting, I have discovered a vibrant, well-informed, professional and highly motivated group of people. I am absolutely convinced we can use all of these strengths to make sure that dentistry is at the top of the political agenda, so we can advance the best ideas for dentistry as a whole. I believe my long-time interests and involvement in health and public services will help me continue driving the ADG towards its goals and I look forward to seeing what we achieve together.”
For more details about the ADG visit www.dentalgroups.co.uk
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