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.
Visit Website

Posted in Posts

Children’s teeth in the media

Michael Watson discusses the way children’s teeth have been portrayed recently in the media. Last week dentistry hit the headlines starting with the Sunday Times headline: ‘Rotten teeth in toddlers at crisis level.’ The crisis is well known to dental teams, namely that almost 26,000 general anaesthetics are given to five-nine-year-old children for dental extractions, … Continued

Posted in Posts

‘Trust dentists and let them get on and do their jobs’

Michael Watson reports from the Westminster Health Forum in his latest blog. Once a year I am sent an invitation to the Westminster Health Forum, which runs a seminar on dentistry. The forum is a place where policymakers in Parliament, Whitehall and government agencies can listen to key people within the dental world and discuss … Continued

Posted in Posts

What do dentists do?

Michael Watson highlights how dentists’ training has changed over the years and how it may need to change in the future. What do dentists do? That wasn’t the title of last week’s BDA anniversary lecture by Professor Jimmy Steele, but it was a theme that ran throughout. Like every good lecturer it was not only … Continued

Posted in Posts

GDC receives poor report from PSA

The PSA has concerns over the performance of the GDC in its annual report on the regulators it oversees. The Professional Standards Authority (PSA) sets 24 Standards of Good Regulation and found that all its regulators performed at least ‘adequately’ against ‘most’ of these standards. But it has concerns that some of its regulators (including … Continued

Posted in Posts

NHS appointments ‘frustratingly difficult’ to get according to Which?

Michael Watson responds to Which? claims that NHS dentists are not offering NHS appointments. Its undercover researchers called 500 dental surgeries advertising on the Government’s official website, NHS Choices, as accepting new NHS patients to see if they could book an appointment. They found that three in 10 (31%) practices said ‘no’ because they didn’t have availability. Of … Continued

Posted in Posts

A trip down memory lane

Last week I paid a visit to the town where I was born and brought up, Caterham in Surrey. It was not just a nostalgic trip, but to hear tribute paid to the founder of modern dentistry, Sir John Tomes, who is buried there. It is 200 years since his birth and the ceremony marked … Continued

Posted in Posts

The Queen’s Speech

It was said of King Charles II that he ‘never said a foolish thing, nor ever did a wise one’. Too true the King replied: ‘For my words are my own, and my actions are my ministers’.’ I thought of that as I watched the state opening of parliament, but now, 350 years later, the … Continued

Posted in Posts

Pointless treatments

‘Patients (are) sometimes being offered treatments that have only minor benefit.’ We hear that doctors have been told to stop doing pointless treatments and tell patients that doing nothing can often be the best approach. Patients often expect their GPs to give them a prescription or refer them for an operation, rather than being told … Continued

Posted in Posts

Farewell coalition, hello Conservative government

Last week’s general election gave the country its first all-Conservative government for 18 years, so what can we expect? The consensus of opinion at the BDA Conference was, as far as dentistry is concerned, not a lot. There is some validity in this view as the minister responsible for dentistry (Lord Howe) was a conservative, … Continued

Posted in Posts

A new CDO for England

When NHS England announced the appointment of Sara Hurley as chief dental officer (CDO), it ended weeks of speculation, some well-informed, much not so. As a former dental officer in the Royal Army Dental Corps, I am probably biased in welcoming the current head of the Army Dental Service to her new appointment. However, her … Continued

Posted in Posts

Counterfeit equipment

Recently two NHS employees were involved in the theft and resale of £75,000 worth of dental equipment, taken from health board properties in Edinburgh. They were jailed for nine months. The items were sold on Ebay and the thefts came to light when a dentist, who had purchased some of the equipment, contacted the manufacturers … Continued

Posted in Posts

Michael Watson reviews the dental contract rise of 1.34%

Last week, whilst the profession and the dental press were busy listening to and digesting the General Dental Council’s appearance before the Health Committee, the Department of Health gave its judgement on general dental practitioners’ pay for the coming year. In case you missed this momentous news, here is the result: dental contracts will rise … Continued