Michael Watson

Michael Watson

Author at Dentistry.co.uk

Michael Watson qualified 50 years ago and started his career in the Royal Army Dental Corps. Retiring in 1979 he set up a general dental practice in Manningtree. In the 80s he became secretary of the GDPA and was the first editor of its journal the General Dental Practitioner. Moving to the BDA in 1991 he spent the rest if his career as a political adviser and editing BDA news. Since retiring he has continued writing and is a regular contributor to dentistry.co.uk and Dentistry magazine along with being the news correspondent for both. Michael now spends more time at a time-share on Gran Canaria and reducing the kid’s inheritance on cruise ships.
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What does the ‘Workington Man’ want from dentistry?

Michael Watson summarises what he things this election’s swing voter, the ‘Workington Man’, might want from dentistry. ‘Workington Man’ was the latest in a list of target voters in the general election. He follows Essex Man (Margaret Thatcher), Mondeo Man (Tony Blair) and Worcester Woman (David Cameron). They make up a list of people in … Continued

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How to solve the NHS dentistry access crisis

To solve the NHS dentistry access problem, dentists will have to accept a salary from the government, Michael Watson says. The British Dental Association (BDA) certainly pushed NHS dentistry into the General Election debate with its headline ‘Four million fail to get care they need as access problems go England-wide’. As Dave Cottam, GDPC chair, said: … Continued

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When should an NHS dental patient be paying for treatment?

After Labour announces it will remove check-up costs for the NHS dental patient, Michael Watson gives his thoughts on the move. Last week I read an article which put forward the unusual proposition that Labour favoured the middle classes. It cited the abolition of university tuition fees, which would benefit the graduate at the expense … Continued

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Dental contract reform – are we making progress?

Flexible commissioning with a new dental contract will allow dentistry to move outside of the dental practice, Michael Watson says. It was ‘sell-out time’ at deputy CDO Eric Rooney’s talk on GDS dental contract reform at BDIA Dental Showcase. Understandably dentists and their teams want to know what is going to happen to them and when. The … Continued

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What is the state of health care and adult social care in England?

Michael Watson reviews the CQC’s annual report – The state of health care and adult social care in England. The CQC report concluded that: ‘Most of the care that we see across England is good quality and, overall, the quality is improving slightly.’ Turning to dental services the report is positively glowing, in CQC terms. For the … Continued

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Therapists on the march

Michael Watson implores dental teams to come together and support therapists in working to their full scope of practice Six years ago, the General Dental Council issued its Scope of Practice document. It defined what each member of the dental team can or cannot do, and whether they can do this direct to patients or … Continued

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Will the government remove NHS dental charges?

Governments have neither the will, nor the resources, to remove NHS dental charges, Michael Watson says. Few connected with healthcare can forget the orgy of self-congratulation that accompanied the 70th anniversary of ‘our’ NHS last year. The 70th anniversary of the first NHS prescription charges gets no attention this year. Imposed in October 1949, prescription charges followed the … Continued

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Diabetes and oral health

Michael Watson reports on the latest publication from NHS England about diabetes and oral health. NHS England has recently published its Commissioning standard: dental care for people with diabetes, something I, as a type 2 diabetic, have been waiting for since I don’t know when. The document, Commissioning standard: dental care for people with diabetes, has been developed … Continued

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Government’s green paper and its potential impact on oral health

Michael Watson gives his thoughts on the recent launch of the government’s green paper. It must be unheard of for the release of a long-expected health green paper to arrive at 9.15pm from the Cabinet Office. But so it was on the final, frenetic days of Mrs May’s premiership. The science editor of The Times … Continued

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Portsmouth – access to NHS dentistry

Michael Watson gives his thoughts on the lack of NHS dentistry in Portsmouth. Stephen Morgan MP for Portsmouth South has demanded to see officials from NHS England in Westminster. His move follows the revelation that three of the city’s NHS dental surgeries are to close next month, affecting at least 9,000 people. A local newspaper has … Continued

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Changing times

Michael Watson on why the profession must be first to act to encourage change in the patient’s approach to dentistry Answering a question from MP Steve McCabe, health minister Stephen Hammond said the NHS Long Term Plan prioritises services for children and young people, providing ‘a clear focus’ on improving the health of children and … Continued

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Reforming the dental contract in Wales

NHS dentistry in Wales needs a radical overhaul, Michael Watson argues. Dai Lloyd AM, chair of the Welsh Assembly Health Committee, said last week: ‘Paying someone the same amount to deliver a course of treatment on a patient regardless of the amount of work involved makes little sense.’ He was speaking at the launch of his … Continued

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Stress and patient care

Is the pressure and stress regulators place on dental professionals actually improving patient care, Michael Watson questions. A recent article in the Daily Telegraph caught my eye as it gave a fresh perspective on the increasing levels of regulation that all who work in healthcare, whether NHS or private, experience. Dentists, not unnaturally, tend to … Continued

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Oral health of older people

Michael Watson reports on the recent Government debate on the oral health of elderly people. Away from the endless debates and votes on Brexit and the bear-pit that is Prime Minister’s Questions, MPs can make a valuable contribution to holding the Government to account. One such device is the so-called Adjournment Debate, held for half an … Continued