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Updates from week commencing 13 June 2022

Read all the updates that took place throughout this week.

Friday 17 June 2022


Scotland and Northern Ireland: Managing locum cover

We have been looking at the different ways you can manage locum cover when associates need to take time away from the practice. Absences can happen for a range of reasons, and it benefits both associates and practice owners to work together in planning for these scenarios.

Often, associates will find and engage a locum to cover their work in their absence, but this isn't always an option depending on the circumstances. We can support you to discuss, engage and find the best solution whether finding a locum, providing cover through existing dentists in the practice, or looking for a different solution.

If you're not in Scotland or Northern Ireland, see this advice on locums instead.

Thursday 16 June 2022


Scotland: Survey of Clyde Munro Associates

We are carrying out a survey looking for feedback from associates working for the Clyde Munro Dental Group. Your responses will help us to explore which services you find most useful and how we can improve them. 

The survey link will be sent directly to your inbox so please look out for it. It will remain open for three to four weeks, we will then analyse the data. After this we will consider extending the survey to other corporate groups to gather further feedback.


Northern Ireland: Changes to Level II claims from 7 July

Amendments have been made to the use of Item 30 in the Statement of Dental Remuneration (SDR). Item 30 allows dentists to claim fees for the use of Level II Personal Protective Equipment in the provision of Aerosol Generating Procedures.

In line with changes to the Infection Prevention Control (IPC) guidance in Northern Ireland, claims can only be made if and when Aerosol Generating Procedures (APG) are used when a patient has a known or suspected respiratory pathogen, and when an unacceptable risk of transmission remains following the Hierarchy of Controls risk assessment.

Guidance has been issued on what details need to be included on the patient record, observations and use of Level II PPE with no associated APG item of service.

The changes will be implemented from 7 July 2022.

Wednesday 15 June 2022


Scotland: Call to maintain GDS funding multiplier 

We have written to the Scottish Government to urge them to maintain the Item of Service multiplier at its current level (1.7) following the initial three-month review at the end of this month. 

To lower it – or remove it altogether – at this stage would reduce NHS patient access and increase inequalities, neither of which would be welcomed by dentists, patients or Scottish Ministers. Practices' lab costs have significantly increased in recent months and without the multiplier some treatments will not be financially viable under the SDR as practices would deliver them at a loss.

We have also called on the Scottish Government to improve its engagement with our Scottish Dental Practice Committee, including consultation on any changes to the multiplier, and to communicate clearly and promptly with the wider profession to update them on developments.


England: Developing the Booking and Referral Standard

The Booking and Referral Standard (BaRS) is a system to enable bookings and referral information to be sent between NHS service providers. The BaRS ensures healthcare professionals receive the information needed for patient care, in a useful format that is integrated into existing healthcare IT systems.

The service will enable the efficient sharing of information between NHS 111 and urgent dental care services. The BaRS will eventually be available in all healthcare settings, improving the patient journey and saving time for healthcare workers.

NHS England would like to speak to members of the dental profession about the new system to ensure it supports the needs of you and your patients. If you would like to share your ideas and feedback, or have any questions, please email the NHS Bookings and Referrals team.

Tuesday 14 June 2022


England: Only modest changes expected for NHS dentistry

We have responded to comments from Minister Maria Caulfield MP in the House of Commons today, suggesting that announcements on reform of the failed NHS dental system will be made this side of Parliament's summer recess.

We anticipate only modest, marginal changes to the current discredited target-based NHS dental contract will be announced before summer. Formal negotiations on meaningful wholesale reform of the contract are yet to begin. 

The current system funds care for little over half the population and sets perverse incentives to dentists, rewarding them the same for doing one filling as ten. The unsuitability of this model during the pandemic has accelerated the drift of dentists away from the NHS into a full-on exodus. Thousands of dentists have left the NHS in England since lockdown, with many more significantly reducing their NHS commitment.   

Shawn Charlwood, Chair of the British Dental Association's General Dental Practice Committee, said: "Real change is not coming this side of the summer. What we're expecting are modest, marginal fixes to the current failed system, and negotiations on the fundamental change needed have yet to begin. This will be a test of the government's ambition. Will Ministers provide the resources and reform that millions of patients require, or will they consider a few tweaks to a broken model as mission accomplished?"


COVID boosters this autumn

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has announced that COVID boosters will be made available for frontline healthcare workers, as well as for more vulnerable groups, this autumn. The aim of the booster programme is to increase population immunity and protection against COVID-19 over the winter period. 

Boosters will be offered to residents in a care homes, frontline health and social care workers, all those aged 65+ and those aged 16 to 64 years who are in a clinical risk group. The JCVI is reviewing the scientific data and further updates on the delivery dates will follow. 

Monday 13 June 2022


Pandemic has supercharged crisis in dentistry 


A recent wide-ranging report from the General Dental Council points to the devastating impact the pandemic has had on both patients and the dental profession. With access and workforce problems the norm, even before COVID, we're warning that oral health inequality will only widen until government delivers needed reform.  


This research has found that by October 2021 over a fifth of patients surveyed (22%) had tried and been unable to get an appointment at some point since August 2020 and 17% reported having had an appointment postponed or cancelled in the past 12 months. Half (52%) had yet to return to a dental practice, meaning that a very large proportion of the public would not have seen a dental professional at all for 18 months or more. 

We have called on the government to deliver meaningful change by April of next year and put in place necessary funding to underpin the rebuild of the service. BDA Chair Eddie Crouch said: "The real question now is what this government is willing to do about it. Practices are struggling to meet demand, while every day dejected NHS dentists are calling it quits. Deep inequalities are set to widen unless Ministers commit to fix this forgotten corner of our health service." 


Good Practice: Fire safety advice sheet and evacuation log

Do you know your responsibilities when it comes to fire safety? Do you keep accurate records of your fire evacuation drills including any areas for improvement?

Keeping your premises, dental team, and patients safe is paramount. As part of our continued effort to provide resources to help make it easier for you to run an efficient practice, we have created a fire safety advice sheet  and fire evacuation drill log , exclusively for Good Practice members.