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Updates from week commencing 27 March 2023

Read all the updates that took place throughout this week.


Friday 31 March 2023


Website availability this weekend


Due to essential maintenance work, will be offline from 17:00 on Saturday (1 April) until mid-morning on Sunday (2 April).


If you need access to any files, please download them before this period. Online booking of events will not be available. 

The library online catalogue and the CPD Hub are not affected, and both will be accessible during the work.


We apologise for the inconvenience.




Video: Monthly round-up

In our latest video CEO Martin Woodrow highlights the ways we've been supporting you throughout March.

You can read the full stories outlined in the video here:

  • From April 2023 HMRC’s employment status guidance will no longer reference our model contract. We have been assured that HMRC will not use the withdrawal of guidance as a reason to open retrospective enquiries into periods prior to April 2023
  • The changes announced in the budget this month will benefit higher earners or dentists with longer NHS service. The Standard Allowance has seen an increase and the Lifetime Allowance will be abolished from 6 April 2023. Alongside this, there are also additional retirement flexibilities for members considering taking their pensions
  • Shawn Charlwood gave oral evidence to the Health and Social Care Committee’s inquiry into NHS dentistry last week. Recent marginal changes are not real reform, and the UDA must be scrapped and replaced with a prevention-based, capitation system. Last week also ended with the shock news of an 8.5% increase to NHS patient charges in England
  • Clawback has reached record highs across England and Wales this year. We have developed a new video to support you with the process, which occurs for any NHS contractor failing to reach 96% of their contracted target
  • In Wales, we have been gathering your views on the impact of contract reform through surveys and a webinar. Your views have been shared in meetings with the Chair of the Health and Social Care Committee and senior members of Senedd to find a way out of the current dead end
  • In Northern Ireland, we acknowledge the significant efforts to ensure fee enhancements continue at a time when the budgetary outlook is challenging. Two new Statements of Dental Remuneration have been issued, applying a 4.5% uplift to fees and allowances
  • It has been a tumultuous month in Scottish politics, and we have worked hard to ensure dentistry remains at the heart of the debate. We have taken evidence from members on the mounting exodus from the NHS directly to the media and all opposition parties.
We will keep you updated as we continue to push for progress on these areas and for meaningful, long-term contract reform.


Private practice advice 

Working in private or mixed practice can be both financially and professionally rewarding. If you are considering converting your practice, our private practice advice portal can support you through the process.

Our advice gives an insight into private and mixed practice, helping you navigate statutory obligations and understand the process. Some practices continue a portion of NHS work, aiming to find a balance between both systems that maximises the advantages of both.

If you are considering changing the balance of your work, our advice team are here to support you with one-to-one advice for Extra and Expert members throughout the UK. Call 020 7935 0875 or email


Isolation and the stress of dentistry

Thinking of dentistry as a lonely profession might seem strange to non-dentists. Amongst small or single-handed practices, and multi-surgeries as well, feelings of isolation can be common and a cause of stress.

Especially during their early years, many practitioners feel pressure to appear confident, calm, and reassuring. This, along with lack of in-house support as self-employed associates, causes great levels of stress and burnout amongst dentists.

It’s vital to prioritise your wellbeing. Knowing what resources are available to help reduce stress and where to seek professional support can be an important first step. Being part of a collective can also play a big part in reducing feelings of isolation and the stress associated with it.

Thursday 30 March 2023


Northern Ireland: Updated IPC guidance

The Public Health Agency has advised that the Infection Prevention and Control Measures for Covid-19 in Health and Care Settings Guidance published in May 2022 has been updated.


Significant areas applicable to dental care settings include:


  • A return to the application of standard and transmission-based precautions when dealing with respiratory illnesses
  • Hierarchy of Controls can be used to help implement effective controls and reduce spread of respiratory pathogens 
  • The recommendation for universal masking in all health and social care settings has been removed.

Further information about these changes is available on our FAQs page.


Standing up for children's oral health


Last week's Oral Health Survey of 5 year olds showed years of progress in the fight against decay risk being undone, with inequalities set to widen.

We've worked with some of the leading voices in public health, including the Association of Directors of Public Health, and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, to make our position clear to government.


From restrictions on sugar to restoring access on the high street we need urgent action to turn the tables on a preventable disease.




Two-day business essentials training all practice owners need to know

A two-day interactive workshop will be held on Friday 19 May and Friday 16 June from 09:00 to 17:00 at our Wimpole Street office. 

The event provides 13 hours and 30 minutes of enhanced CPD on the commercial techniques that can be applied to a dental business to improve financial results and drive profitability.

The first day will focus on the know-how necessary to assess your current business position and provide a range of commercial techniques applicable to your business.

During the second day you will review the techniques used to improve your financial results, set out the next steps and develop a strategic plan unique to your practice.

Register today to attend and share this sign-up link with any dental practitioners you know.


England: Changes to the way dentists who are not exempt from undertaking Foundation Training are assessed to join the Performers List

The way that dentists who are not exempt from undertaking Foundation Training (FT) are assessed to join the Performers List is changing significantly from 1 April 2023. From this date, all dental applications to join the NHS (England) (Dental) Performers List will be managed in accordance with the existing NHS England Policy for Managing Applications to Join the England Performers Lists and no fee will be payable to NHS England by any applicant.
This replaces the current arrangement whereby the HEE Performers List Validation by Experience (PLVE) scheme provides the framework for assuring that applicants who are not exempt from undertaking FT have the knowledge and experience that is equivalent to that of a practitioner who has satisfactorily completed FT for the purposes of joining the Dental Performers List.
We understand that further information about the new process will be shared by NHS England shortly.

Wednesday 29 March 2023


Bupa mass closure the tip of the iceberg 

Today the press are leading with news of mass closures across the Bupa group. Estimates suggest as many as half a million patients could lose access to care, but these won’t be the last practices to close their doors. 

This only underlines the evidence we’ve put to the Health Committee. An exodus is in motion and real reform and fair funding are needed now

The constituents of the Deputy PM and the Leader of the Opposition are among those hit. Both government and opposition need to set out concrete plans if this service is going to have a future. 


Scotland: Updated IPC guidance

The National Infection Prevention and Cross Infection Control Manual (NIPCM) has been placed on the Scottish Dental website

It is referred to as 'the source of guidance which should always be followed in General Dental Practice'. It includes guidance on physical distancing, respiratory symptom assessment questions, face masks, aerosol generating procedures, and respiratory COVID-19 testing.

To help members understand the current situation, we have provided more information under part 3 of our Coronavirus: your FAQs section.


Scotland: New First Minister pressed to act on crisis in NHS dentistry

We've written to Humza Yousaf, following his swearing in as First Minister, calling for immediate action to ensure this beleaguered service has a future. 

The leadership election has delayed the timetable to reform the broken system NHS dentists work to. 

We will be campaigning to ensure a sustainable system is in place by October, when bridging payments cease. 


Dental students: Take part in our new research

We’re looking for dental students due to complete their course at the end of the current academic year and planning to continue with clinical dentistry after finishing their studies, to take part in a new research project.

This project will help improve our understanding of clinical experience among dental students in the UK and aid our policy and campaign activity to help ease the transition from dental school to clinical practice, enabling students to have the best start in their careers.

Participants will be invited to take part in three one-to-one interviews (via Teams or Zoom) over the next year, with pre-discussion surveys sent out ahead of each interview. You’ll receive a total of £90 in gift vouchers if you complete all three interviews.

For more information on the project or to register your interest, please contact Ella Buckland.

Tuesday 28 March 2023


Update on Bupa practices

We have had contact today from Bupa indicating that the provider has taken the decision to close, sell or merge a total of 85 dental practices across the UK, the majority of which are focused on providing NHS dentistry.


Bupa has indicated that the NHS contract model, increased operating costs, and the difficulty in recruiting staff to some practices, has contributed to this decision. This is a stark reminder of the difficulties facing providers of NHS dentistry across the UK.


Members impacted by Bupa practice closures or sales can get in touch with us for advice at




BDJ: Managing tooth wear, rehabilitating dentition, and monitoring erosive tooth wear

The latest BDJ issue explores managing tooth wear, rehabilitating severely worn dentition, and monitoring erosive tooth wear.

Articles include:


England: 8.5% charge hike will hit millions on modest incomes 

Yesterday the government confirmed an 8.5% increase in patient charges. It’s an inexcusable approach during a cost-of-living crisis, and won’t put an extra penny into a cash-strapped service. 

We’re deeply concerned this marks a return to pre-COVID strategy of using patient charge increases to reduce government spending on NHS dentistry. 

Government data shows 1 million patients missed out on care for reasons of cost in 2022, but is carrying on regardless. In our view this is a cold, calculated political choice, that will hit millions on modest incomes.

We’ve already reached out to MPs and the national press to set the record straight. We’re encouraging members to share these messages on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, and to download and display a poster in their practices.

Monday 27 March 2023


CPD: Mental health in the workplace

Mental health conditions within dental teams are common, especially during periods of increased stress. The stigma attached to mental health continues in many modern workplaces, and a lot of people are unaware of how to tackle it.

Our Mental Health in the Workplace course provides 3 hours of verifiable CPD and sets out the practical ways to create a compassionate environment for dental teams to support each other's mental health.

By completing the course, you will be equipped to understand the impact of mental health in the workplace and recognise the need to tackle stigma. You will also be able to spot the warning signs that a colleague is struggling so that you can offer them support at an early stage.


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