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Updates from week commencing 12 December 2022

Read all the updates that took place throughout this week.


Friday 16 December 2022


England: What needs to change in NHS dentistry?


Following years of campaigning, the Health and Social Care Committee has launched an inquiry into access in NHS dentistry – and we are asking members to help us make the case for change. If you're a GDP based in England, please complete this 5-minute survey.


Earlier this year our members provided us with evidence from the frontline that secured this inquiry. Now we have a chance to lift the lid on a service in crisis.


We've had tweaks to the failed contract fuelling this crisis when what we need is real ambition. The evidence you provide will help us to make a compelling case for the change this profession needs and deserves.




NI: Reviewing a rollercoaster year

As we come to the end of a particularly challenging year, the Northern Ireland Dental Practice Committee (NIDPC) emphasises the need to present a unified front when promoting our message. 

NIDPC Chair Ciara Gallagher summarises the year's ups and downs in her blog: "Dentistry was on every news outlet throughout the UK, with unprecedented media coverage." She says, "In what must be seen as a small victory, we have at least ensured a place for dentistry at the top of a very full healthcare agenda,"

"I am not afraid to say that I take great pride in our profession and all that we do." Ciara adds, advocating the industry and the work the committee does.



Thursday 15 December 2022


England: Mid-year action plans

Members have been approaching us after receiving a document headed "Appendix 2 – Mid-Year Action Plan". Aimed at NHS dental providers who have not met the 30% threshold for performance in the April to September 2022 period, it requests detailed information about your dental practice.


We have written to NHS England outlining serious concerns about the form, requesting its immediate withdrawal, and instead urging conversations with providers at mid-year review meetings to discuss individual circumstances.


We understand that access issues sit behind the exercise but do not believe this is a constructive way to understand the problems facing NHS dentistry, many of which are out of the control of practitioners. Members wanting advice on responding to this form from NHS England should contact our NHS and Business team:




Root canal conditioner voluntary recall

Dentsply Sirona is conducting a medical device voluntary recall for a specific batch of Glyde Dose Pack, root canal conditioner due to an incorrect expiry date:

Part Number: A090500000000 

LOT Number: 1779021

EU UDI-DI: +J003A0905000000002

The expiry date reads May 2024 instead of January 2024 and the full performance of the product cannot be guaranteed after January 2024. If you have any of this product with the same LOT number, please segregate the products and return them to the dealer who originally sold the products to you and you will be reimbursed.




England: 2023/2024 CQC fees announced

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has announced today that its fees for 2023/2024 will remain the same as the last four years. These fees cover the costs of provider regulation, which includes registration, monitoring and inspection.


For dentists, there are two main groups of fees and for single location providers, the fees depend on the number of chairs:


One chair = £598

Two chairs = £747

Three chairs = £846


And for providers with multiple locations, the fees depend on the number of locations (regardless of the number of chairs):


Two locations = £1,593

Three locations = £2,389


You can use the CQC fees calculator to check the costs based on your individual circumstances.



Wednesday 14 December 2022



BDA elections 2022


The BDA is run by dentists, for dentists. Elections give you the chance to get involved and help set the direction of travel. Five seats on our board have been elected, with new representatives taking their seats in January 2023.


The board's official name is the Principal Executive Committee (PEC). The following results have been confirmed:


East Midlands and Central

Nilesh Patel (Scrutineers' Report) (Full breakdown of voting)



Sushil John (Scrutineers' Report) (Full breakdown of voting)



Alison Lockyer (Scrutineers' Report) (Full breakdown of voting)


South Eastern

Victor Chan (elected unopposed)



Laura Cross (elected unopposed)



Tuesday 13 December 2022


Group A streptococcus

Due to the recent interest and increase in cases of Group A streptococcus (GAS), the UK Health Security Agency has produced a what you need to know blog detailing how it is being spread and what is being done. The most serious infections are caused by invasive Group A strep (iGAS). 

Infections are caused by bacteria getting into parts of the body where it wouldn't usually be found. Although iGAS infections are uncommon, there has been a small increase in cases this year, making it vital to understand the infection's characteristics and how to manage them.

The NHS has advised clinicians involved in care provision to refer to the evidence-based practice manual. This manual is intended to be adopted as mandatory guidance when conducting NHS services and under all other care settings.


Northern Ireland: CDS Workforce Issues raised with DoH

A range of issues impacting the Community Dental Service (CDS) workforce have been discussed at the most recent Northern Ireland Joint Negotiating Forum (NIJNF) with representatives of the Department of Health (DoH).

The Northern Ireland Community Dentists Committee (NICDC) conveyed the urgent need for a workforce review within the CDS to the DoH. 

"We put forward the clear need for adequate regional access to Special Care consultants", says NICDC Chair Ann McAreavey in her latest blog. "These issues are causing an undeniable impact on morale and job satisfaction among CDS dentists."

While acknowledging the important progress made since the last NIJNF meeting, and the DoH willingness to recognise the issues put forward and commit to possible solutions, the NICDC vows to continue advocating on behalf of community dentists and the community dental service in 2023.


GDC annual retention fee reminder

The General Dental Council (GDC) is currently collecting dentists' Annual Retention Fee (ARF) for 2023. Payments must be made by the end of the day on 31 December 2022.

If the GDC has not received your ARF payment by the due date, you will be taken off the register and will have to go through a process of restoration. Given that there appears to be no leeway for flexibility at the GDC in this situation, we are encouraging all dentists to ensure that payments have gone through. 

CPD declarations of the minimum 10 hours over two years must also be made in the coming weeks. If you think you are currently short of the required hours, you can still undertake CPD; any CPD to count towards these declarations must be obtained before 31 December 2022.

Monday 12 December 2022


Business continuity during difficult weather

With snow making conditions challenging in several areas there are a couple of points practices should bear in mind.

Ensuring you are prepared with a rigorous and refreshed business continuity plan is important to help you provide a smooth service during any disruption. Make sure the following is known:

  • Who staff and performers should contact if they are unable to get to work
  • Who will be able to open the practice during the disruption
  • Which staff members have circumstances which may make it difficult for them to attend work if there is widespread disruption
  • Who can be called on with short notice to fill spots on a rota
  • What provisions there are locally to grit roads and provide access and how snow will be dealt with on your physical premises
  • How the practice will deal with cancellation and potential reduced capacity.

Our advice for business continuity planning  and Expert Template  can help you with this process.

There will be some instances where it is not possible to open the practice if it is unsafe to do so. In these instances, force majeure applications should be made to your local commissioners within five days but sooner where possible. It is important to note that snowfall causing disruption is becoming more frequent and practices are expected to plan for this and maintain a service. 


Wales: Social media toolkit

The way NHS services are accessed in Wales has changed over recent years. The NHS Wales 'Help Us Help You' campaign provides information for the public about the changes.

The campaign includes assets you can share across social media channels and your website to support patients in managing health and accessing services in a straightforward way.

Several of the videos are dentistry related, with the key messages including getting the right care the first time, improving health, and how to access advice from the workplace or home.


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