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Updates from week commencing 26 April 2021

Read all the updates and what we've been working on during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Friday 30 April 2021



England: UDA value tool available to members


We have updated our UDA value checker with the latest data from the NHS Business Services Authority.


We developed this tool last year to help dentists get to grips with the complicated financial details of the NHS dental contract in England. So far it has been downloaded over 3,000 times by our members.


Why should I use this tool?


  • Access important information about your contract and contracts in your area to easily compare yours with others in the area
  • Approach commissioners with this information when discussing issues around contract delivery clawback and UDA value
  • Help your associates to understand the NHS financial environment in which the practice operates.





England: Advice for associates on NHS targets


We have compiled a number of guides to advise associates on the NHS targets during the 2021-22 NHS contract year. Members can download the following:


James Goldman further explains the UDA targets and side agreements for 2021.






Support services for dentists 


The news from India this past week, and other places with high COVID prevalence, is very distressing. We want to remind our members that should you need someone to talk to, you do have access to Health Assured, a confidential 24/7 helpline open 365 days a year.  


Our Stress page offers more information about Health Assured and other counselling and emotional support services open to you. 


Please do seek help if you need it.





SDCEP issue update on aerosols rapid review


The Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP) has issued the following message in relation to the Mitigation of Aerosol Generating Procedures in Dentistry - A Rapid Review:


To date, no new higher certainty evidence has been identified that changes the conclusions of the Rapid Review. The update is provided within Appendix 4 of the Rapid Review and as a standalone document. These documents and a separate Report of Recently Published Evidence can be found on the SDCEP website.


The Working Group emphasises the importance of staff and patients continuing to adhere to the various precautions specified in current national guidance.



Thursday 29 April 2021



New national lead for Dental Public Health at PHE


We offer our congratulations to Dr Anna Ireland on her appointment to the new Dental Public Health lead at Public Health England. We are committed to working with her team both on managing transition to a new public health system, while confronting the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on oral health.


Public Health England's health improvement functions are set to move to the new Office for Health Promotion at the Department of Health and Social care by the autumn. Items on the to do list include:


  • supporting government plans to promote water fluoridation for dental health
  • providing expertise for an England-wide supervised toothbrushing programme for young children, if it materialises following an outstanding consultation intended to take place last year.

The Office for Health Promotion will continue to have an overarching role ensuring there are sufficient Dental Public Health trainees and consultants to deliver the aforementioned Dental Public Health tasks.





Northern Ireland: Raising the profile of oral cancer


We represented members at the NI Assembly’s All Party Group on Cancer. We secured an important slot to present on oral cancer, to raise the profile of the disease with this influential All Party Group in advance of a revised oral health policy for Northern Ireland being finalised.


Dr Gerry McKenna, Chair of BDA NI Hospitals Group highlighted that more than 60% of head and neck cancers are diagnosed at a late stage in Northern Ireland. He stressed the need to address the lack of awareness among the population of the common signs and symptoms of oral cancers.


Gerry’s presentation illustrated the strong correlation between incidence rates of head and neck cancers across Northern Ireland with highest deprivation levels.


Also highlighted was the collaborative work between Cancer Focus NI and the BDA to highlight concerns regarding oral cancers.


Our thanks to Gerry for making the BDA’s case, Paula Bradshaw for welcoming our presentation and Cancer Focus NI for bringing us together.


The Northern Ireland branch invites dentists to its webinar on Restorative Aspects of Head and Neck cancer and Red Flag referrals on Tuesday 8 June.





England: Free PPE extended until March 2022


Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) formally extended the provision of free COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) until 31 March 2022.


In making this decision, DHSC say they have considered the likely trajectory of the pandemic, the roll-out of the national vaccination programme and have engaged with a broad range of stakeholders.





England: Abatement and NHS practices


NHS dental practices are seeing the BSA deducting the abatement from NHS dental practice contract payments. The abatement for the period from April to June 2020 is currently being deducted in monthly instalments. Whilst the BDA does not agree with the terms of the abatement, NHS England has made it clear to us for some time that these deductions would be made.


We are receiving calls from both practice owners and associates as to whether practices can claim some of the abatement back from associate pay.


The terms of continued NHS contract payments during that period were that associates would be paid at previous levels. Deductions from associates from such payments would be a breach of the conditions of those NHS contract payments and could lead to Area teams taking contractual action against NHS dental practices.





Scotland: How political parties aim to improve dentistry


We have been paying close attention to the Scottish political parties' manifestos and the pledges they have made to improve access and dentistry in Scotland.


Read our summary of what each party is calling for in relation to dentistry.


The next Scottish Government must take action to bridge oral health inequality and support dentistry. That is the case we made in our manifesto, published ahead of the election on 6 May 2021.



Wednesday 28 April 2021



Good Practice members: new guide and assets


Right now, it is more important than ever to reassure patients of your commitment to quality assurance. That is why we have updated our Marketing your practice guide, created social media assets and an email footer to help our Good Practice members communicate this. This updated guide will give you the tools and advice needed to promote your practice and Good Practice membership to new and existing patients.





Webinar: Building stress resilience


When thinking about stress, how much is your optimum level and how do you know when you have surpassed it?


Our recent webinar will give you a better understanding and provide you with practical coping strategies when your optimum level has been reached.


Free to members, it will earn you one hour of CPD.






England: Our guide to help you complete the Coronavirus year-end declaration


NHS practices in England are this year required to complete a Coronavirus 2020-21 year-end declaration.


We know that some practices may be concerned about completing this new form so we have created guidance to help you .


The Coronavirus year-end declaration is a result of the conditions attached to the NHS contract payments.


During the pandemic NHS England continued to make contractual payments on the proviso that practices complied with their requirements, such as ensuring associates and staff were paid at previous levels. In completing the form, practices must make a 'declaration of compliance' with these requirements.


Our guidance explains as best we can what information is expected  from your responses.


Practices who cannot demonstrate compliance may face contractual action. We do not yet know what that action may entail but if payments were made subject to conditions, and the conditions were not met, then it is possible that some or all of those payments will be retracted. We are waiting for further clarification on this.


Our advice team is ready to help with any questions in relation to possible action by local area teams. It would be helpful to us to build up a picture of action being taken by different local area teams.


The Coronavirus 2020-21 year-end declaration eform opened in Compass last week and must be completed by 23:59 on 31 May 2021.





England: Update on NHS Regional Clinical Fellowship Scheme


Today the CDO for England, Sara Hurley, messaged the profession regarding the FMLM Regional Clinical Fellowship Scheme.


In her message, the CDO wrote:


The scheme has been established by NHS England and NHS Improvement to expand opportunities and support aspiring clinical leaders to gain experience of system leadership, transformation, and service improvement, which will equip them with the essential skills they need to lead a complex and integrated NHS in the future. The scheme forms part of the NHS’ commitment of the NHS People Plan 2020/21 to strengthen clinical leadership capability in the NHS, and to support to talented aspiring clinical leaders.


Managed by the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management (FMLM), Clinical Leadership Fellows will be based in NHS regional teams for 12 months between 1 September 2021 to 31 August 2022, working with senior regional and professional leads. Posts are offered as secondments and are less than full time (0.6FTW) allowing individuals to continue to maintain contact with some clinical responsibilities. Fellows will lead key projects that contribute to regional and national priorities including the recovery, reset and implementation of learning from Covid-19. They will be supported by a wrap-around leadership development programme delivered by FMLM and a subsequent alumnus scheme.


The scheme is open to qualified clinicians that hold full registration with the relevant professional body and are able to demonstrate experience at team leader level, equivalent to an NHS Band 7 role. With the NHS Regional Clinical Fellows Scheme open to GDC registrants I encourage members of the profession with an interest in becoming the leaders of the future to apply before the deadline on 4 May.



Tuesday 27 April 2021



Associate dentists - managing your financial and tax affairs


Are you an associate dentist? If so, consider attending our up-coming webinar for assistance and advice on how best to manage accounts and tax affairs. This online event is free to members and will take place at 19:30 - 20:30 on Thursday 17 June 2021.


Register today to:


  • Evaluate the best ways to organise your accounts
  • Learn how to use essential accounting software to organise and streamline your affairs
  • Discuss deductions available for associates
  • Understand your accounts and tax bill.





Are dentists suffering in silence?


During these difficult times, high quality support for your mental wellbeing is needed more than ever. We provide BDA members with free access to Health Assured, a confidential assistance programme.


However, we have seen a lower than expected uptake, in comparison to other healthcare professionals. Are dentists having trouble asking for help with their mental health?


This Stress Awareness Month, Sian Hammersley of Health Assured looks at the take up of our 24/7 counselling and mental health support services:


“We expected a big surge in requests for support during the first lockdown, but this was slow to materialise. It wasn't until June 2020 that we suddenly saw call volumes increase by 1,200%, and they then peaked again in the typically gloomy winter months. During this time, members used the counselling service for support and guidance for an array of reasons, the most common of which being anxiety, employment issues and work-related stress, low mood and bereavement.”






Wales: Bridging the gap on oral health


Our oral health manifesto for Wales has already made a difference.


Plaid Cymru have devoted an entire section of their manifesto to improving dentistry in Wales, while Welsh Labour have also discussed improving access to dental services within their manifesto.


With the elections coming up, Russell Mark Gidney, Chair of our Welsh General Dental Practice Committee, outlines what the next Welsh Government must do to bridge the gap in oral health inequalities and rebuild dentistry in Wales.


"I urge you to show your support for dentistry by speaking to your local candidate... please explain to them the problems facing NHS dentistry and ask them - if elected - to speak up for dentists and the nation’s oral health in the Senedd."






Visa extensions for health workers during the pandemic


The government has announced that overseas healthcare workers might be able to apply for a one-year visa extension for free. In order to be eligible, healthcare workers must have a current visa that expires between 1 April 2021 and 20 September 2021, and work for the NHS or an independent healthcare provider in an eligible profession. Dental practitioners are included in the list of eligible professions published by the Home Office.


Please note that the BDA cannot advise on visa applications. For further information see GOV.UK: Visa extensions for health workers during coronavirus (COVID-19).


For information on how Brexit has affected EU dentists in the UK and UK dentists in the EU, see our Brexit page.





Members invited to upcoming AGM


Our 2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held online on Thursday 6 May at 19.30. As a BDA member you are invited to attend, however, you must register in advance to gain access.


To register, log into the website and then book the webinar using the pink 'Register' button. That page also has more information regarding the meeting’s agenda, as well as registration and voting by proxy.


Once you have secured your place, you will receive an email with further instructions. We look forward to seeing you next week.



Monday 26 April 2021



England: HEE survey looks at career progression of dentists


Health Education England are carrying out a survey as part of the Advancing Dental Care review to understand the career progression of dentists.


The survey looks at any factors you have encountered over your practising lifetime which may have influenced your career, including changes due to COVID-19 or any suggestions for the future.


Take the HEE survey





SNOMED implementation postponed


Following our calls to the Health Minister, Jo Churchill has agreed to a postponement of full compliance for practices no later than 31 August 2021. During the next few months suppliers and practitioners should actively work to implement the terminology by this date.


SNOMED CT is a system that aims to ensure better interoperability between health services for patients, by ensuring clinical notes are coded in a standardised way. All clinicians will be expected to use the new systems and it may cause increased bureaucracy for dentists - this is an issue that we have repeatedly sought assurance on.


The planned implementation of SNOMED CT was originally set for 1 April 2021. We expressed grave concerns that the systems in place for its use in dental practices are not sufficiently robust at present to ensure patient safety a smooth rollout that won’t impact on time spent with patients.





Interview with BDA President, Russ Ladwa


Our President Russ Ladwa speaks to BDJ about his 36 years in practice, equality and diversity and dentistry's road to recovery from the pandemic.


"A demoralised profession under stress is not in a good place to go back and look after people [post-pandemic]. I've always said, whether you're a doctor or dentist or nurse, unless you're healthy and happy in your own mind, you cannot do your best for your patients."






Help managing stress: Resources and services


Are you or your colleagues experiencing stress?


This Stress Awareness Month we encourage you to make use of the resources and services that are available to support dentists and their teams with stress management. Included in our lists are resources for issues such as suicide prevention, addiction and bereavement.


You don't have to be a BDA member to access most of these resources, so please do take a look at what's available to you and consider reaching out. If you are a BDA member, you can also access our 24/7 confidential counselling service. Your mental health matters. If you are experiencing stress, please do reach out.