In the last few weeks I have had the luxury of spending a lot of time with my team and even some time with our extended team of practice advisors. This is a rare occurrence on both fronts.
Our team of practice advisors are wet fingered dentists working all over the country and are a valuable part of our quality program. Their role is supportive and very much based on peer review. I could not do my role without them and to be able to speak to them whilst they are physically together always feels like a privilege. The wealth of knowledge and experience amongst them is vast. As I type I am trying to do a little ‘years of experience’ sum in my head, but the number is getting too big for me to deal with!!
Compliance and regulation is never going to be a riveting area to have to address with practices, but the feedback we get from practices after a visit is that on the whole the visit is appreciated, respected, and in many cases actually enjoyed! No mean feat!!
To me it shows what we are able to achieve as a joined up profession, very often the advisors feel that they learn from the practices they visit, little tips that can then be shared further. This is how we should work, shared learning, openness and trust in our peers. As I have written before, the vision of a more joined up profession seems to me to be the only way to face the challenges that come at us externally, either from a legal or regulatory perspective.
Listening to different approaches to visits, either because of the character or particular interest of the advisor or because of the nature of the practice being visited, shows how we all have different approaches to complying with regulation. But that doesn’t matter, it shows we can choose the specifics of how we do it and yet still comply, that is a really important and powerful thing to remember.
With a cohort leaving their roles at the end of this year mainly due to retirement we have a lot of knowledge leaving the group. We will miss them and their knowledge but the fresh faces of those that have been recruited to join the group will no doubt teach us new things, make us question some of what we do and bring new energy to an already fabulous group of people.
About the Author:
Catherine Rutland works as Head of Professional Services at Simplyhealth Professionals, and writes a regular column for The Dentist.