When preparations began for the 7th DCP Symposium I was concerned that 7 years can often bring with them an ‘itch’ that can make people drift apart and send them off to seek pastures new. Fortunately my concerns were unfounded and the DCPs once again turned up in numbers to attend this years’ DCP Symposium titled ‘Brief Intervention - Every Second Counts’.
The event has become not only a day of educational purpose but also a date for ‘networking’ and socialising with colleagues on an annual basis. Exchanging practices,discussing current policies and confirming that dental life is indeed fast paced.
The Symposium succeeded in attracting over 130 DCP delegates to the Marriott Hotel in Cardiff. A slight drop in numbers from previous years which may be a reflection that it was a bank holiday weekend, however still a great turn out.
The headliner was Brief Intervention – a technique being utilised to initiate change in peoples’ behaviour. Capturing the moment if you like when an opportunity to raise awareness, share knowledge or even just getting people to think about improving their health and behaviours presents itself.
Tom Damsell of Gwent Drug & Alcohol Service was first on stage, and he provided us with an insight into alcohol consumption and the potential of related problems associated with the habit, using scratch cards to give each individual a personal score rating on their alcohol intake. Not sure all cards were scratched ‘honestly’ but they certainly made us think about our drinking habits.
Prudent Healthcare was next, delivered by Mick Allen. An insightful look at skill mix and the effective utilisation of all dental team members within the healthcare setting for the benefit of patients.
Cheryl Richards of Stop Smoking Wales followed with an engaging talk on Brief Intervention with regards to smoking. Cheryl highlighted a number of facts and figures that made everyone sit up and pay attention. With alcohol, smoking and prudent healthcare done then inevitably it was the turn of sugar- the current ‘buzz word’ in healthcare.
“Sugar – a term of endearment” was the title of Maria Morgan’s presentation. Maria presented us with facts and figures regarding the oral health status of the population in Wales, followed by a fun interactive ‘Play your Cards Right’ game where the amount of sugars in foods and drinks was guessed by the delegates with the famous ’higher or lower’ being used to establish the quantity of sugar in each product. Perhaps not the best talk to have just before lunch but it certainly made everyone think
During the lunch break there were representatives from Stop Smoking Wales and Gwent Drug and Alcohol Services on hand to provide delegates with information and resources that are available to the Dental Teams. The Marriott did not disappoint and once again delivered a great lunch which set everyone up nicely for the afternoon session.
Dr Enzo Di Battista from Anuerin Bevan Health Board stepped up to deliver an introduction on motivational interviewing in the context of Brief Interventions, looking at behaviour change and client language - a thought provoking session.
After a brief tea break we were ready for the final speaker. Professor Mike Lewis rarely needs an introduction to a dental audience. He immediately launched into his talk with his usual flamboyant style, captivating the audience from the outset. Oral Cancer is a topic that both fascinates and scares us. Comforting then to see and hear at the end of a diagnostic quiz –‘is it or isn’t it, that the majority of the delegates (who would never be in the position of having to provide a diagnosis) were getting it right.
Another a year another DCP Symposium. What would the feedback say? Well it seems we did it again. A successful Symposium with delegates evaluating and awarding high scores for the speakers, venue and the overall organisation of the event.
A job well done and another great event continuing the trend of delivering high quality, current CPD and enabling the DCPs to broaden their skills and knowledge to improve patient care.