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Updates from week commencing 21 February 2022

Read all the updates that took place throughout this week.

Friday 25 February 2022


Infection Prevention and Control: Two-day conference – Birmingham

In 2020 NHSE/I rolled out their vision of the NHS Long Term Plan for Infection Prevention and Control, with strong themes around AMR and Gram-Negative bloodstream infections. Throughout 2020, and much of 2021, we saw the biggest global pandemic in recent history, COVID-19. Themes for this national meeting will therefore include amongst others, outbreak management, improving hand hygiene (and auditing procedures), and decontamination/cleaning protocols, as well as a focus on reducing the contribution of dental antibiotics to antimicrobial resistance.

The Infection Prevention & Control conference will take place from 26-27 April 2022 in the National Conference Centre in Birmingham. Admission is free for NHS staff but there is a fee for cancelling less than 48 hours in advance.


Advice: one-to-one advice available for Extra and Expert members 

Did you know, if you're an Extra or Expert member you have access to unlimited one-to-one advice via phone or email from our team of experienced advisors?

With more than 70 years of advising dentists, our advisors are experts in the laws, contracts, and regulations of dentistry. If you're facing complex issues, we will pair you with an advisor who will handle your advice on a one-to-one basis. 

Expert membership also gives you and your team all the policies, templates, and checklists you need to manage a safe, efficient and compliant practice.

For more information on one-to-one advice, contact our Practice support team on 020 7563 4574 or email:

Not a member? Join today.


Dental students: Share your views on student debt   


We are concerned about levels of study-related debt and the impact this has on dental students in the UK. If you are a final year dental student, we want to understand your experiences of study-related borrowing and debt, and the impact this has on you. 

Your response will shape the vital work we undertake on your behalf. The data collected will be used to inform our campaign activity to support the continuance of the NHS Bursary, campaign for better terms for student loans and help us to represent your interests more effectively.

Please complete this fifteen-minute survey to share your views.

Thursday 24 February 2022


Scotland: Lateral flow testing reverting to twice weekly

The Chief Nursing Officer has advised healthcare workers and patient-facing primary care staff, including dentists, to reduce their frequency of lateral flow testing from daily back to twice weekly.

The return to pre-Omicron levels of testing is based upon a reduction in Covid-19 prevalence in the community and staff are reminded to record results - positive, negative, and void - on the NHS Scotland portal

For more information, please refer to the Scottish Government Covid-19 frequency asked questions and guidance on carrying out lateral flow testing can be found on the NHS Education for Scotland TURAS learn portal


England: Living with COVID – no change to the IPC guidance


The NHS has confirmed that, despite the Government's recent announcement, there are to be no immediate changes to IPC requirements. As such, the current SOP remains in place and this includes the requirement for staff, patients and visitors to wear a mask/face covering in healthcare settings. Private practices are also expected to follow the SOP, but it is not mandatory. If you are thinking of deviating from current guidance, we recommend consulting with your defence organisation.


If a dentist or staff member is in close contact with a confirmed COVID case, unlike the wider community, they should:


  • Immediately arrange to have a PCR test (unless they have had COVID in the last 90 days) and the result of this PCR test should be negative prior to returning to work

  • After the negative PCR result, the staff member should undertake an lateral flow test every day for the 10 days following their last contact with the case

  • The final test should be taken before starting work and the result should be negative.

If a dentist or staff member tests positive for COVID, again unlike the wider community, they should not attend work until they have had two negative LFD test results. The first test should not be taken before Day 5 after their initial positive test and then, if the one taken on Day 6 is negative and the staff member is medically fit, they can return to work then, providing there has been a 24 hour gap between tests.


In relation to asymptomatic testing, the current recommended protocol (twice weekly) should continue until further guidance is published. Staff are encouraged to report the results of these tests.



Northern Ireland: Financial support scheme replaced on 7 April

The Department of Health has confirmed the existing Financial Support Scheme (FSS) will be replaced on 7 April.

Thereafter, a new support scheme will move away from 2019/20 historic activity and will be based on current activity. The letter issued to GDPs states that reimbursement for Level II PPE will continue to be available into 22/23, but at a rate of £11. 

Full details of the new scheme to replace FSS are still being developed, and will be communicated at the earliest opportunity.

Wednesday 23 February 2022



Scotland: Government MSPs vote against support for NHS dentistry


In a debate in Holyrood today Scottish Government MSPs voted against a motion on support for NHS dentistry. The motion was tabled by the Scottish Conservatives and backed by both Scottish Labour and Liberal Democrats.


Ministers have been planning to cut pandemic support from April. While the Government has recently indicated that there will be no "cliff edge", we have consistently warned that the plans to end COVID support payments and return to a low margin/high volume model of care would devastate dental services across the country.


David McColl, Chair of the BDA's Scottish Dental Practice Committee said: "NHS dentistry in Scotland is facing crisis, but sadly Ministers seem asleep at the wheel. Promises have been made to the voting public that simply can't be kept unless we see meaningful support and real reform as we head out of the pandemic."





Good Practice: Contextual safeguarding course


Contextual safeguarding shifts the way that child protection is considered and addressed. Our exclusive course for Good Practice members introduces the concept of contextual safeguarding and how dental practices can play a role.


GPS members should contact for their enrolment key.





British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show 2022

After two years, the British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show (BDCDS) is back! It returns on 13 - 14 May 2022 at NEC, Birmingham. 

With 200+ world-class speakers, 400+ industry leading exhibitors, and 250 hours of enhanced CPD, there's something for the whole dental team. 

Secure a free pass for yourself and your colleagues now. 


Scotland: New infection prevention and control FAQs

In December, Anti-microbial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infection (ARHAI) Scotland published updated infection prevention and control guidance in the National Infection Prevention and Control Manual (NIPCM) which recommended limited changes to the protocols for primary care dentistry. The Chief Dental Officer wrote to the profession to update them on these impending changes and NHS Scotland subsequently issued revised Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for dental teams to follow.

To help answer various queries we received about the new guidance and protocols we have produced IPC FAQs for the profession. 

Tuesday 22 February 2022


England: Maintain current SOPs until further notice

With the ending of covid measures, dentists and staff are understandably questioning whether the current Standard Operating Procedures should continue to be followed. NHS England and the Chief Dental Officer have advised that current SOPs should continue to be followed as far as possible, until further dental-specific guidance is issued. 

Private practices are also expected to follow the SOPs, but it is not mandatory. If you are thinking of deviating from current guidance, we recommend consulting with your defence organisation.

Some aspects may be out of step with the wider community, but that has been the case many times during the pandemic; for example with the continued use of face coverings in surgeries when they were no longer compulsory in society. We will update you once updated guidance is in place.


NHS England: £50m urgent care funding Q&As

On 25 January, NHS England announced an additional £50m funding allocation focused on urgent care, to be spent by the end of March 2022. Since then, general practices and community services have been invited by commissioners to express an interest in providing care under this allocation. There has been some uncertainty around the terms and processes to be applied for teams to access the funding and we have raised a number of questions with NHS England. They have produced a series of questions and answers to seek to address some of these questions being raised. 



Webinar: Practice sales: COVID two years on – what has changed

Since the start of the pandemic, various changes have impacted the value and sale of dental practices. In an upcoming webinar, Phil Kolodynski, Associate Director of Dental Elite and Luke Moore, Dental Elite Director and Co-owner, discuss how the market has adapted to this, as well as the impact of legislative changes and more. This 1hr CPD certified webinar will take place on 31 March 2022 at 19:30

It is free for the whole dental team and will cover:

  • How dental practice buyers have adapted to a changing climate
  • Understanding the sales process for dental practice owners
  • An update on dental practice valuation methodology.

Monday 21 February 2022



England: Learning to live with COVID? 


The government's announcement of the end to almost all remaining pandemic restrictions for the public has left dentists and their teams with little clue as to how they will work in the days and weeks ahead.


The Prime Minister has stated that it is now for the NHS to "determine themselves" what testing is provided free. That ambiguity leaves thousands of colleagues working to Standard Operating Procedures predicated on routine lateral flow tests facing real uncertainty.


While free testing has been pledged for staff in social care, similar guarantees are conspicuous by their absence for the whole healthcare workforce.  There is real inconsistency here when it comes to protecting vulnerable patients - one minute enforcing mandatory vaccination, the next ending universal free testing for healthcare professionals.


Following reported disagreements between the Treasury and the Department of Health we also understand the costs of maintaining limited parts of the testing infrastructure will be borne from existing health budgets.


Certainly, if this service is going to 'learn to live with COVID' it cannot begin with further cuts to frontline services.


We have already sought clarity on these pressing issues and will keep you updated.





BDA by-elections 2022: Do you want to represent your profession?


Nominations are now open for the 2022 BDA by-elections. We're looking for members to come forward to represent their colleagues across a whole range of BDA committees. You can find the full list of available seats on our elections page.


These committees help determine BDA policy and are key to making sure the voice of the profession is heard by governments and administrations across the four countries of the UK.


If you are interested in influencing positive change for dentists and dentistry, we encourage you to nominate yourself for the relevant seat. Nominations close midday Monday 14 March.





BDA Museum and dentistry feature in TV documentary 

The BDA Museum featured in the latest episode of Channel 5's History of Britain with Tony Robinson last weekend. In the episode dentist Mike Gow tells the story of his relatives, the Tull-Warnock's, during the Edwardian period, including dentist Edward Tull-Warnock. 

Edward Tull-Warnock was an outstanding student and won prizes for his operative work at the Incorporated Glasgow Dental Hospital. The greatness of his achievement cannot be under-estimated. At that time, he would have probably been the only black student in the hospital and may have faced much prejudice and adversity. Watch this episode back to find out more.


Wales: Making the case for CDS funding

Dentists in the Community Dental Service in Wales report that the waiting times for their vulnerable patients are increasing, leaving many in pain and on repeat prescriptions for antibiotics. The wait times for CDS patients to be seen for General Anaesthesia (GA) surgery are also concerning. 

Many CDS surgeries in several Local Health Boards (LHBs) have been overlooked in the allocation of funding for air handling equipment to help reduce fallow times and improve patient throughput and this needs to be put right. Improving the air handling equipment and reducing fallow periods is one solution that is within the gift of LHBs.

LHBs must address this issue and we have called on Baroness Morgan to fix the problem regarding much-needed capital expenditure funding. Health Boards need to be properly funded for CDS surgery upgrades and instructed by government to make this happen where there is a lack of action. We will keep you updated with any developments.