The end of an era

It is with regret that the British Dental Receptionist Association (BDRA) has announced it will be discontinued from 31 December. We feel it is a pity that, for whatever reasons, receptionists have not been able to form a durable association to give them a voice within the dental profession.

Since our formation in January 2002, professionals from a wide range of dental backgrounds have generously given their time and skills to sponsor the BDRA for no monetary reward. But unfortunately we have not been able to attract enough receptionists on to the association’s executive.

During March 2006, it became necessary to cancel our annual conference due to lack of bookings. This had a serious effect upon the executive’s morale and we have been unable to replace those who resigned as a result of this disappointment. Nevertheless, we went on to plan and advertise a second, vastly different event for 25 November, which again attracted no interest from BDRA members.

Over the past four years the BDRA has enjoyed a number of triumphs. We introduced services that members have widely used and given very good feedback on, such as our advice sheets, telephone support line, quarterly newsletters, articles in the dental press and our well visited website.

However, it is now clear that members want to play a passive role in their association, which is not compatible with the nature of membership organisations.

We have now stopped accepting applications for membership and renewals. Full membership services will be provided to existing members until 31 December 2006. After January 2007, The Dental Resource Company (DRC) will include BDRA members in its Receptionists Network, membership of which is free to its students.

DRC will provide quarterly electronic newsletters, a telephone support line and low price training opportunities. BDRA members wishing to subscribe should forward their email details to admin@dental-resource.com. Receptionists who are not BDRA members will be able to join the network for £10 per year.

It is important at this point to acknowledge the input of those who have worked hardest to create an association for receptionists. In particular Anita Maniak, who was our first chairman from 2002-2005, and Sue Surbey who took over from her. Jane Bonehill of Denmed, who produced our Green Light Training Directory, former secretaries Jane Allen and Carley Campbell as well as our former administrator Gemma Bridges.

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