Support for Dentists in Difficulty

The Essex LDC wishes to support colleagues who are struggling for professional or health reasons where possible. The following schemes have been set up to help Dentists in need of support.

PASS (Professional Advice and Support Scheme)

Life is seldom easy and at times there seems to be a convergence of circumstances designed to make things harder. Dentists in the Essex LDC area have access to the PASS scheme. Local colleagues who have been trained can help you work problems out. This is non-judgmental and confidential, the emphasis is on support and if you would rather speak to a colleague from outside of the area this can be arranged through our reciprocal arrangenments. If you need help, or know a colleague who is struggling, please make contact.

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The Dentists' Health Support Programme

The Essex LDC made a £5000.00 donation this year to the Dentists' Health Support Programme. Formerly known as the Sick Dentist Scheme, this helps dentists working in general dental practice who are in need of, but not seeking medical attention. A majority, but not all, cases are alcohol / drug related. The Support Program, which can be accessed by calling the confidential help-line number below. It can be used by any dentist who may be abusing a substance or by someone (a colleague, ancillary staff, family member or a friend) who is concerned about a dentist who may be abusing a substance. The caller will be put in contact with a Local Supporter in the appropriate geographical area or with the Co-ordinator of the Program. Local Supporters are usually retired or semi-retired dentists, who are trained and willing to make time to help colleagues. The Local Supporter will contact a Special Referee and help establish whether the dentist needs help. Special Referees are dentists who have recovered from alcohol / drug addiction. They have all received specialist training for this role. The Program is funded by a Trust which raises money from within the profession to finance training and support for the Special Referees, who provide the help to dentists. Local Supporters are trained and re-trained from a central budget, although Local Dental Committees usually pay for associated travel costs. In addition, LDCs usually meet the travelling and subsistence costs of Local Supporters directly involved in case work. If you know of a dentist who might be helped by the Dentists' Health Support Programme, please call the following confidential number, which is also widely advertised in the dental press: (020) 7224 4671

There is also the British Doctors and Dentists Group BDDG Chelmsford and for other family members struggling to cope with an alcoholic doctor or dentist BDDG Families

To read more about the the British Doctors and Dentists Group click here to download a summary.

CONFIDENTAL, the 24 hour telephone helpline for dentists by dentists, is now officially live. Trained volunteers are there to offer support in a crisis and are there to listen. website: Their phone number is 0333-987-5158


The Essex Local Dental Committee

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