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Updates from week commencing 10 October 2022

Read all the updates that took place throughout this week.

Friday 14 October 2022


Focussing on wellbeing at work

This week is National Work Life Week, an opportunity to focus on wellbeing at work and work-life balance.

During periods of stress, it can become harder to focus on wellbeing in the workplace. We encourage you to reach out to colleagues and support each other in creating a healthy work-life balance.

If you are affected by personal or professional problems, all members can access Health Assured for support on issues impacting your home life, work life, health, or general wellbeing.


UK: Department of Health survey on indemnity cover

The Department of Health is interested in hearing the views of healthcare professionals about discretionary indemnity cover and regulated insurance. Dentists and dental care professionals are invited to share their views.


SAS Celebration Week

We welcome the opportunity to highlight the critical role of all Speciality and Associate Specialist (SAS) dentists and doctors during SAS week, running from 10 October. This is a joint event with NHS Employers, in partnership with the British Medical Association.

SAS grade dentists play an important role in the smooth functioning of hospital departments across the country. SAS celebration week is an important opportunity to celebrate the vital contribution of SAS dentists to the NHS and their patients, as well as ensuring that their role is more widely understood.

We encourage you to use this week to highlight, celebrate and promote the valuable work of SAS grade dentists.

Thursday 13 October 2022


Live webinar tonight: Craving freedom from sugar addiction

Our webinar on sugar addiction explores the ways in which you can support patients to quit sugar for good and is based around the science of five proven methods. The objectives are to:

  • Explore the neuroscience of addiction and reasons it can be so difficult to quit sugar
  • Explore how sugar affects the health of the general population
  • Understand the impact of sugar on mental health within the context of the pandemic and beyond
  • Learn five strategies to support your patients to quit sugar and improve their overall general and dental health.

The webinar takes place tonight at 7.30pm and lasts for an hour, including a chance to ask questions at the end. Members can register now to attend for free, the fee for non-members is £50.


Wales: HSC evidence session

NHS dentistry needs real and immediate, meaningful change. The Health Minister has reported that 14% of General Dental Service contracts have been handed back in this financial year as the service faces unprecedented challenges.

Funding has lagged for over a decade and is being eaten up further by rising rates of inflation. The service is also facing pressure from patient backlogs and staff shortages which look set to increase further over the next six to twelve months.

You can watch live this morning as we give evidence to the Health and Social Care Committee at the Senedd. We are not at the precipice any longer and action is needed now before NHS dentistry tumbles over the edge.

Wednesday 12 October 2022


Oral health for the ageing population

Mili Doshi and Andrew Geddis-Regan have edited a clinically focused book on oral health for the ageing population.

The book discusses the increasing dental needs of older people, with a special focus on dementia and other cognitive impairments.

Oral Health and Dental Care in the Ageing Population is available for purchase online as an eBook or hardcover book.

Tuesday 11 October 2022


Scotland: Bridge funding excludes specialist orthodontics

The extended multiplier has been seen as a bittersweet lifeline for many NHS dental practices across Scotland. A recent announcement from the Government could land yet another blow to an already uncertain future.

Scottish Government officials have officially confirmed that the recently announced 'bridge funding' will not apply to Specialist Orthodontic Practices.

We have requested further clarity on whether this statement will apply to General Dental Practitioners carrying out orthodontic treatments and will keep you up to date.


England: Winter flu vaccine

In her latest Bulletin, the Chief Dental Officer has made reference to the 2022 NHS flu immunisation letter. This confirms that all frontline healthcare workers, including both clinical and non-clinical staff who have contact with patients, should be offered the influenza vaccine.

The CDO confirms that vaccinations should be provided by employers as part of the organisation's policy to prevent the transmission of infection. However, this season, there are two circumstances in which frontline staff can access the vaccine free of charge through the NHS:

  • Pregnant women
  • Staff 65 years and over

Staff members between 50 and 64 years were eligible in the 2021 to 2022 season but have been excluded this year by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, the group which aims to provide direct protection to those who are at higher risk of influenza-associated morbidity and mortality.

Monday 10 October 2022


Mental health support from Health Assured

The stigma around mental health can make it a difficult subject to talk about, especially in the workplace. If you, a colleague, or someone you know is struggling it can seem frightening, and you may not know how to help. It's important to know that you are not alone.

All our members have access to Health Assured, a confidential service offering counselling and emotional support 24/7. They can also help with legal advice for you on any issues that cause anxiety or distress including debt management, accountancy, consumer disputes, property, or neighbour disputes.


Northern Ireland: Access your free winter flu vaccine

The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority has confirmed that clinical and non-clinical frontline healthcare workers who have contact with patients should be offered the influenza vaccine to protect themselves this winter.

Staff eligible for free treatment include frontline health and social care workers employed by dentists and to receive the vaccine you must provide proof that you are working in the health and social care sector. This can be an employer photo identification badge or other proof of employment such as a payslip or a letter from your employer on official letterhead paper with photographic proof of identification.

Eligibility is based on the advice of the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations and the list has been widened in Northern Ireland to include frontline workers.


World Mental Health Day 2022

This year's World Mental Health Day is focussed on making mental health and wellbeing for all a global priority. Mental health conditions within dental teams are common, especially during periods of increased stress.


If you would like to learn more about the practical ways you can create a supportive and compassionate environment, our Mental Health in the Workplace course provides 3 hours of verifiable CPD, setting out how dental teams can support each other's mental health.


By completing the course, you will be equipped to understand the impact of mental health in the workplace and recognise the need to tackle stigma. You will also be able to spot the warning signs that a colleague is struggling so that you can offer support at an early stage.