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Updates from week commencing 2 January 2023

Read all the updates that took place throughout this week.

Friday 6 January 2023


Wales: Ministers cooking the books on patient numbers

The Welsh Government need to correct the record, following misleading claims that 112,000 'extra' dental appointments have been secured by recent reforms.  

Under plans taken forward last year Ministers have made GDPs prioritise seeing 'new' patients, with healthier patients receiving less frequent check-ups. 

The reality is this increase in new patients – many of whom are higher needs and require more time and attention  will mean a sharp drop in access for more regular attenders. It's an approach designed to give the impression of progress, without the need for meaningful investment. 


"The Welsh Government is cooking the books on patient numbers" says WGDPC's Russell Gidney. "The fact is for every new patient seen, a dozen historic patients could lose access to dentistry. This is all that's possible when we fail to meaningfully invest in frontline services."


England: Doctors and Dentists Review Body contract uplifts

It is hugely frustrating that, despite a pay uplift announcement in July for general dental practice, at the turn of the year we are still yet to see that translated into an increase in NHS contract values in England.


As a reminder, the DDRB recommended an uplift in pay of 4.5%, which was accepted in full by the Westminster government. However, an element for costs has to be determined to give an overall increase in contract values. That is the bit that has taken the government far too long to conclude. We have been repeatedly urging the implementation of the uplift.


We now believe that the uplift will be scheduled by the Business Services Authority in January and paid in February, backdated 10 months to April 2022. We will confirm that, and the final uplift figure, when we have clarity.


Dry January is back! 


Dry January is an annual public health campaign encouraging people to avoid drinking alcohol during the month of January. Many people use this time as an opportunity to make healthy lifestyle changes and gain confidence in managing drinking habits. Do you know if your patients are taking part?

This is the perfect time to remind patients of the health benefits of low or no alcohol consumption, including a lower risk of oral cancers, tooth decay and tooth loss. Managing your alcohol consumption also has great short-term benefits such as better quality of sleep, improved mental health, stronger immune system and saving money!

Here are some useful resources that can help you and your patients throughout Dry January:


Thursday 5 January 2023


NHS leadership development programme opportunities

The NHS has been examining the current leadership development offered to professional groups, findings have shown that dentists are often disadvantaged from accessing opportunities. To support further development, fully funded places are available on the Mary Seacole and Rosalind Franklin NHS Leadership Programmes.

The Mary Seacole is aimed at practitioners in NHS B6 equivalent grade posts with leadership roles and the Rosalind Franklin is for clinicians in B7 and above equivalent NHS posts. These grades may not apply directly to those working in dentistry; more broadly the Mary Seacole is aimed at those at least two years qualified with a leadership element to their role and the Rosalind Franklin at least four years qualified with a leadership element to their role. All applicants must have spent at least two years working in NHS commissioned services or providing NHS services. You will need to commit to the entire programme with evidence of line manager approval as part of the application process. 

The programme is delivered virtually so no travel is required but access to a computer/laptop will be essential. Successful applicants will need to carry out a pre and post programme questionnaire as well as attend a 45-60 minute focus group discussion to discuss the suitability of the programmes for dentists.

Wednesday 4 January 2023


BDJ Jobs: Working to help you 

Sustaining a successful practice, recruiting new staff and providing the highest level of care to your patients may feel like a challenge.

We want to better understand how we can support you, whether you're recruiting or looking for employment, we are undertaking a survey for our members to share your views and experiences. 

The BDJ Jobs Survey takes about 10 minutes to complete, 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.



Tuesday 3 January 2023


Northern Ireland: Five-year-olds Oral Health Survey

The National Epidemiology Oral Health Survey for 5-year-old children in Northern Ireland (2018-19) has been published on the Department of Health website. 

This Northern Ireland specific report encompasses several issues, including prevalence and severity of dental decay, oral sepsis, and substantial amounts of plaque, affecting five-year-olds. The issue remains of public health importance due to its impact on both children and parents' quality of life, its high cost of treatment to the HSC and easy preventability.

The survey suggests an overall improvement, however, the decay levels in Northern Ireland are still comparatively higher than in England. It is essential to use this survey's data as a basis to assist with planning and commissioning of dental health services and oral health improvement programmes for the future.


Erosive tooth wear webinar

Nicola West, Professor and Honorary Consultant in Restorative Dentistry at Bristol Dental School, is presenting a webinar for all dental care professionals on tooth wear and how to manage it.

The aim of the webinar is to give members of the dental team a greater understanding of dental erosion and dentine hypersensitivity.

The webinar is kindly sponsored by Oral-B and will take place on Thursday 12 January 19:30 - 20:30, register today to attend and share this sign-up link with any dental practitioners you know.