June 2006

Volume 23, Issue 2

Presidential Address - BASCD Spring Scientific Meeting

Authors: S. Gregory


Members, welcome to the historic city of Cambridge, and to Robinson College. When planning this conference 2 years ago we had no idea that it would coincide with the date of the biggest change in NHS dentistry since 1948, at the same time, another reorganisation of the NHS is underway. Not surprisingly this has suggested to me that my theme for this address should be “Change”. The traditional theories of strategic change emphasised the need for organisations to respond and adapt to changes in the environment by firstly ‘unfreezing’ their current position, before making the desirable changes and then stabilising or ‘refreezing’ these changes. However, as organisational change theories develop, it is becoming clear that in modern society, the attainment of stability is not a realistic goal. I think that this applies to all areas of life. The external environment, in the form of fundamental technological, organisational and social change, is shifting faster now than ever before. This suggests that continuity and stability are unlikely to occur in the near future. Organisations must therefore learn to view change as a continuous process of adaptation to an evolving environment. This seems particularly pertinent for the current NHS and for dentistry. I always enjoy reading the articles of Stephen Hancocks and I would like to quote from his editorial in the BDJ just 3 weeks ago: “The human condition does not much like change. ‘Why can’t it be like it was?’ is a frequently heard plea in many areas of life. Well, put quite bluntly, it can’t be like it was”. Cambridge today is certainly not like it was at its inception 2,000 years ago. The current city with its juxtaposition of old and new provides a fascinating place to visit and an exciting place to live, the contrasts being evidence of the changes that Cambridge has experienced. It was near Castle Hill during the first century BC that Belgic tribes established the first settlement, near the spot where the river Granta ( the original name for the Cam) could be easily forded. When the Romans arrived in AD 43, however, it took on a more strategic significance, the ford was the crossing point on the Via Devana, the Roman road connecting Colchester with Chester, the Romans duly stationed soldiers here to secure the Emperor’s interests against rebellious Britons – and it is likely these soldiers were called upon to do exactly that during the Iceni uprising in AD50. Under the Romans the settlement grew from a village to a town- but it wasn’t until the eighth century that it acquired its first bridge, built by the great Mercian king Offa, where Magdalene bridge stands today.


Other articles in this issue

Article Pages Access
Editorial - Providing children with the quality dental care they deserve 66-68 Download
The impact of fixed orthodontic appliances on daily life 69-74 Download
Service quality implications of dental undergraduate outreach teaching for Primary Care Trusts in England, UK. 75-79 Download
Prevalence of hypodontia and hyperdontia in paedodontic and orthodontic patients in Budapest 80-82 Download
Psychometric properties of the Arabic version of the Dental Cognition Questionnaire 83-90 Download
Dental caries experience in preschool children in Veneto region (Italy) 91-94 Download
Improving access to dental care in East London’s ethnic minority groups: community based, qualitative study 95-100 Download
The unequal burden related to the risk of oral cancer in the different regions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 101-106 Download
Can oral health promotion help develop masticatory function and prevent dental caries? 107-115 Download
The equity of access to primary dental care for children in the North East of England 116-119 Download
Presidential Address - BASCD Spring Scientific Meeting 120-122 Download


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