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Updates from week commencing 14 November 2022

Read all the updates that took place throughout this week.

Friday 18 November 2022


Wales: Open letter calling for workforce plan

We have joined a group of 33 organisations across Wales in sending an open letter to the Welsh Government calling for an update and publication timeline for the workforce implementation plan.

We face serious challenges and a hard winter ahead. Dentists are facing a high risk of burnout, long waiting lists and intense levels of daily pressure. The workforce implementation plan promised by Welsh Government earlier this year is a vital opportunity to tackle the challenges.

It is vital that the Government addresses the growing challenges facing dentistry. The NHS cannot provide value for money and high-quality care without adequate support.



Preventing antimicrobial resistance

World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW), led by the World Health Organisation (WHO), is held between 18 – 24 November this year. The theme for 2022 is preventing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) together.

As we enter the winter months WAAW is a timely reminder that front-line health and social care staff should reinforce the responsible use of antibiotics, both in practice and in the promotion of self-care to your patients.

Patients should be reminded that:

  • Antimicrobials including antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals and parasitic are medicines used to prevent and treat infections and they are becoming increasingly ineffective
  • Antibiotics will not treat/control viral infections such as colds, flu, and COVID-19 
  • Antibiotics can cause side-effects, including nausea and diarrhoea
  • Overuse of antibiotics increases the risk of spreading serious infections as bacteria become resistant to antibiotics
  • Antimicrobial resistance leads to longer hospital stays, higher medical costs, and increased mortality
  • Good hand hygiene can help limit the spread of infections
  • Vaccines and the correct use of antibiotics will help preserve the effectiveness of vital medical treatments
  • As a first step in the treatment of dental bacterial infections, use local measures
  • Only use antibiotics in conjunction with, and not as an alternative to, local measures.
In addition, the NHS stated "General dental practitioners should be alerted to the updated 2020 evidence-based Good Practice Guidelines and the Chairside synopsis from the Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK) and the Faculty of Dental Surgery and the national Dental Antimicrobial Stewardship Toolkit.


Scotland: Tackling the challenges in dentistry

Over 6 million NHS dental appointments have been lost since lockdown and oral health inequalities look set to widen in the aftermath of the pandemic.

After starting her new role as BDA Scotland Director, Charlotte Waite has been exploring the issues in her latest blog: "Backlogs of dental need created by the pandemic are a legacy which will remain for years to come and will require investment, reform, and consideration within wider recovery planning across health and social care. Dentistry cannot be considered in isolation and suitable investment and funding must be delivered by Scottish government."

We will continue to make sure that our members voices are heard, working together to shape the direction of travel for dentistry across Scotland.

Thursday 17 November 2022


Misleading marketing of sugar-laden food

The Government must act to stamp out misleading marketing claims by children's food manufacturers as revealed in damning new research from Action on Sugar.

The findings show that some breakfast foods aimed at toddlers contain up to four teaspoons of sugar per serving. Over three quarters of products claim to have 'no added sugars' or 'only naturally occurring sugars' despite many containing sugars from fruit juices, concentrates and purees.

Government has yet to step up. In 2017, the Sugar Reduction Programme was introduced, with a 20% reduction in sugar levels in certain key contributors to children's sugar intake expected by 2020. The progress report issued in 2019 showed that only 3% of this reduction had been met.


Scotland: Referendum on new SAS package

We're currently working with BMA Scotland's SAS doctors committee (SSASC) looking at the contract package for SAS doctors and dentists.

BMA Scotland is putting this package to a member referendum. We have sent an email to members who are eligible to vote, with information on how to take part in the ballot, which closes on Friday 18 November.

Following the closure of the voting period, BMA SSASC will meet to consider the outcome and formally decide whether to accept or reject the new contracts.


Latest issue of the BDJ 

The latest head and neck cancer themed edition of the BDJ has landed with members.

A small number of members may find theirs delivered in plastic wrap owing to a paper shortage affecting the printing industry.

The publisher is hoping this will be rectified soon and we'll return to more sustainable paper envelopes.

Wednesday 16 November 2022


Wales: Dangers of Dental Tourism 

Dental tourism for cosmetic work is on the rise among the Welsh population, with many travelling to Turkey for the promise of cheaper dental treatment.

The most recent episode of BBC X-ray highlights the risks involved, with many patients being left in serious pain and needing further treatment back in the UK.

WGDPC Chair Russell Gidney discussed the risk UK dentists face in taking on patients who have returned to the UK following a cosmetic procedure abroad.



Scotland: GDP pay award confirmed


Following a letter from the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care in September, a pay award of 4.5% for GDPs has been confirmed with effect from 1 November 2022.


The award will apply to gross item of service fees as well as capitation and continuing care payments. The award will also be applied to multiplier and bridging payments for the 2022/23 financial year.


The pay award will be included in the November 2022 paid December 2022 schedule, with backdated payments being made in the December 2022 paid January 2023 schedule. If you have any enquiries relating to these changes you can submit any questions to your local NHS Board.



Tuesday 15 November 2022


Northern Ireland: Uplift does not account for soaring expenses

We conveyed our alarm to the Minister for Health, Robin Swann, that the soaring cost of providing care has not been accounted for in the 4.5% uplift to the Statement of Dental Remuneration.

The DDRB recommendation of 4.5% is in respect of pay, whereas the expenses element is intended to be addressed separately by government. We have sought clarification on the reasoning behind the change to normal expected procedure and an explanation of the methodology applied to determine the expenses component.

The Department and its officials must urgently review the decision on this matter and address the overdue timeline.


Your feedback about BDJ Jobs

We know the recruitment market is really challenging. We would like to hear about your experiences of recruiting and looking for new roles.

The BDJ Jobs survey takes about 10 minutes to complete and is open until the end of November. Please share the link with any colleagues who can also provide feedback.

Your responses will directly help BDJ Jobs update and improve the services that are provided to you.

Monday 14 November 2022


Northern Ireland: An insight into the private practice journey

Before the pandemic hit, Ross and Tracey Livingston ran separate practices, but took the decision to merge under one roof.

Our latest blog explores the challenges along the way  and how Ross and Tracy took the difficult decision to no longer be fully dedicated to providing NHS dentistry.

Change can be challenging but our advice team have a wealth of knowledge and are available to support you.


Oral cancer journals and CPD

Increase your knowledge on the prevention and detection of oral cancer during Mouth Cancer Action Month with our CPD and oral cancer journals.

The BDJ, BDJ Team and Evidence-Based Dentistry collection of articles focuses on mouth cancer, covering a range of topics from dental loss after radiotherapy to person-centred care in oral cancer.

Our complimentary oral cancer and oral dysplasia webinar on 23 November offers 1 hour of CPD. The course aims to improve your knowledge of oral dysplasia and how to spot the main red flags of oral cancer.