Internet Explorer and Edge browser users:
To download Word, Excel or PowerPoint files please right-click on the file you wish to download, and select 'Save target as...'

Updates from week commencing 4 April 2022

Read all the updates that took place throughout this week.

Friday 8 April 2022



Send us your nominations for the BDA Honours and Awards 2022


Our Honours and Awards acknowledge the unsung heroes of dentistry and celebrate dentists who uphold and improve standards in the profession.

If you know a dentist who consistently goes the extra mile, is active in furthering the profession and offers exceptional service, nominations are now open for our Honours and Awards. The categories include:

  • Roll of Distinction, honouring outstanding services to UK dentistry
  • Certificate of Merit for Services to the Association, to recognise special service at any level of dentistry within the UK
  • Certificate of Merit for Services to the Dental Profession, to recognise special service at any level of dentistry either nationally or internationally
  • Joy Harrild Award for Young Dentists, to recognise young dentists who have made a significant contribution to the profession.


Download and complete our nomination form before the deadline on 27 May 2022.





Northern Ireland: New legislation for RQIA inspections 


The DoH has confirmed a move to a new statutory minimum period of once in every two years for RQIA inspections will apply from 1 May 2022.


We have campaigned for a move away from annual inspections for many years, a change we were concerned would not happen.


We believe that yearly inspections are disproportionate and the new move to every two years is an important step in easing the burden on practitioners.





Northern Ireland: Dentistry in perilous position with radical change needed now


We are disappointed that Health Service dentistry has been left in peril as the Rebuilding Support Scheme officially replaces the Financial Support Scheme today. Radical change is needed now, Ciara Gallagher reviews what happened and what lies ahead:


"The stakes are high, but I think it's all to play for, as the state of Health Service dentistry in Northern Ireland can't get any worse."


We are committed to securing the best outcome possible for the future of dentistry in our negotiations with the Department. To help us, please get in touch via to share your views and feedback on how you believe the contract should look in the future, so that it works for all dental practitioners, and delivers oral health for all.



Thursday 7 April 2022


Sugar report must be published now 

We have joined 40 health organisations, academics and food groups calling on the government to publish the final report of the voluntary food industry Sugar Reduction Programme.

Four years after the introduction of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy, the report will provide evidence of its success and is expected to expose a lack of progress in reducing sugar in other food categories.

Excess sugar consumption, especially during the pandemic, is contributing to increased waiting lists and causing many people to live with undiagnosed or unmanaged conditions, including tooth decay. We are calling on the Government to act now and release the report.


Northern Ireland: Exploring the issues facing hospital dentistry

Following the launch of the manifesto for Rebuilding and Reforming Dentistry at Stormont, Darren Johnston shares an insightful view on the serious issues facing hospital dentistry in Northern Ireland:

“We need a sustainable workforce and to understand why people are leaving and not applying for new roles. We are a small part of the UK but deserve a level playing field to attract talent. This needs to include pension mitigations, access to excellence awards, and pay parity for staff.”

Make your voice heard by completing our survey to gather your views about the impact pay issues are having on trainees in Northern Ireland. This will help us make the case for pay parity.


England: NHS contract uncertainty

NHS England published information on 5 April setting out the approach to NHS contracts for the first quarter of 2022/23. The letter has raised some confusion about what is meant by a 95% performance threshold during this period, alongside other queries. We are seeking clarification from NHS England on these issues.

Our understanding of the quarter one approach is that if practices achieve between 95% and 100% of their pro-rata UDAs for the quarter, they will be assumed to have delivered 100% of their UDAs for the period. That represents a small enhancement on assumed activity. If practices deliver either below, or above, that 95% to 100% range, then UDAs will be calculated on a normal 1:1 basis. Any under-delivery in the first quarter could potentially then be made up across the rest of the financial year as usual. 

However, we are seeking clarification on this understanding and on a number of other issues with NHS England and will update you when we have further information. 


England: Approach to infection prevention and control

NHS England published a letter on 5 April that indicated the Standard Operating Procedure for dental settings would be withdrawn. However, the wider infection prevention and control guidance, including the dental appendix is still in force, and that guidance contains important information setting out the intended IPC approach in dentistry. For example, it sets out details on screening, the respiratory/non-respiratory pathway split and PPE to be used for those pathways. 

The IPC guidance is also under review and is now out of date in several respects, for example in relation to the screening questions. We are seeking clarification about the guidance and will update you when we have more to report. In the meantime, practices should follow the current guidance.

Wednesday 6 April 2022


Wales: Contract reform associate agreement changes 

Due to information provided by the Welsh Government, we have taken down the recently issued (31 March) associate agreement template for the contract reform model. 

If you have already downloaded the associate agreement for use in the contract reform model, our advice is not to sign it yet, but to wait until we can issue an amended associate agreement in the next few days.

We are changing the BDA model associate agreement for use in NHS dental practices in Wales, in light of new information. This new draft will account for the fact that we now understand performance data will be available at the level of individual associates going forward. And will update it as soon as possible. 

If both parties have already signed the agreement (version issued 31 March) and are unable to agree on replacing it with a new agreement, the BDA advice teams will be able to advise.


Stress Awareness Month: Events to support your wellbeing

We have events planned throughout April to promote and support your wellbeing during Stress Awareness Month. Stress management and mental health of the dental team is a face-to-face event, with Tim Newton providing an overview of stress management techniques for the whole team.

How to create empowerment in health and wellness is a session with Andrew Parsons, focussing on learnings from the experience of supporting people with cancer in the NHS. How to instantly relax stressed out patients will explore the neuroscience of relaxation to help patients who are stressed in the chair.

We also have a wide range of events and webinars on different topics you can attend. This Stress Awareness Month, remember, your wellbeing matters. 


England: Returning to business as usual?

We have slammed moves by government to effectively return to normal working arrangements for NHS dentists in England. The move comes with no meaningful changes to the Covid restrictions dental teams must work to and with infection rates now at an all-time high. 

For the financial quarter starting 1 April 2022, dentists will face financial penalties for failure to hit 95% of their pre-pandemic activity levels. While NHS England’s rulebook for providing care during the pandemic – the Standard Operating Procedure  is to be dropped with immediate effect, dentists remain mandated to work to infection prevention and control guidance that limits patient volumes. This includes requirements to leave fallow time gaps following some treatments, and undertake time consuming Covid screening.
We understand close to half of practices were on course to fall below the previous 85% target, set on 1 January 2022, and would therefore face significant financial penalties. Following pressure from us, NHS England has now set a new minimum threshold of 75% for the last quarter, easing the blow for some practices.
The government must now deliver on commitments of fundamental reform to halt the growing exodus from the service. A package of ‘quick wins’ pledged by NHS England to improve the discredited contractual framework remains in development. We will update you as soon as possible. 

Tuesday 5 April 2022


Scotland: Updated Standard Operating Procedures

Following a recent update from the Chief Dental Officer (CDO), advising changes to Covid-19 Infection, Prevention and Control measures in Scotland, the Scottish Government have updated the NHS Scotland Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for dental practices to follow. 

This was confirmed in a further update from the CDO, which clarified that staff may choose to wear an FFP3 face mask, rather than a fluid-resistant Type IIR surgical mask, when performing an AGP on a patient on the non-respiratory pathway. This is a personal PPE risk assessment for practitioners to undertake. Any questions from the profession on the updated SOPs can be directed to Scottish Government directly via email -


England: Still no answers from NHS England on targets

As we reported last week, NHS England were unable to confirm new NHS contractual arrangements as the financial year started on Friday 1 April. 

The profession is in the wholly unsatisfactory situation that it does not know the contractual terms under which it is being asked to operate. 

We are seeking answers on a daily basis and will update you as soon as we have anything to share. 


England: Working after exposure to COVID


NHS England has confirmed that "staff who are household contacts of a positive COVID case will now be able to continue to work as normal if they remain asymptomatic and continue to test twice weekly. They will no longer be required to have a PCR test in order to return to work."


As it stands at the moment, someone in contact with a confirmed case should take a PCR test and return to work if it is negative, and take LFTs for a further 10 days, so this is a very welcome change to that guidance.


It does not mention non-household contacts, but since household contacts are likely to be more prolonged, we presume it must be the same for all confirmed contacts. 


Monday 4 April 2022


Scotland: New Local Dental Committee formed in Orkney

In our latest blog, Scott Tulloch (GDP and Chair of the Orkney Area Dental Committee) and Michelle Hutcheon (GDP and Member of Scottish Dental Practice Committee) share their success in setting up a new Local Dental Committee in Orkney. 

The driving force behind establishing the committee was to champion best practice in remote and rural dentistry, while ensuring that the people of Orkney receive the best possible dental service they can. Effective representation and political engagement are vital to addressing local concerns and setting up this group has been a vital step forward to achieving these goals. 



Scotland: Changes to Covid-19 IPC measures for dental practices 

The Chief Dental Officer has advised that the Covid-19 Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) measures in Scotland have been amended. The main changes are:

  • For patients on the non-respiratory pathway, standard IPC measures can now apply for all procedures (including AGPs) and there is no need for fallow time
  • Physical distancing restrictions have been removed for asymptomatic patients
  • For patients on the respiratory pathway, transmission-based IPC measures, as well as standard IPC measures, still apply.

In the next few days the Scottish Government will outline the changes in more detail by updating the NHS Scotland Standard Operating Procedures which practices need to follow. They have also advised that the changes will have no effect on the value of the three-month 'multiplier' payment which was introduced on 1 April.


BDA Library: Opening hours 

The BDA library at 64 Wimpole St in London is open to visitors from 10.00 to 16.00 every Wednesday and Thursday. 

You will need to make an appointment if you wish to spend some time researching, but otherwise we would be happy to see you whenever you wish to drop by. If you would like to contact us about visiting, email or ring 020 7563 4545.

You can also access our eBook library from home and we continue to provide our usual postal loans service, although books may take longer to reach you at present.


Annual Conference of Local Dental Committees 2022

After two years, the Annual Conference of LDC's is back in-person. It returns on 10 June 2022 at the International Convention Centre, Newport, Wales.

With the debate of motions, elections of members and the celebration of unsung heroes, the conference has something for everyone. There is also a black-tie dinner held the night before, offering a fantastic opportunity to network with LDC officers and GDPC members.

Register to secure your place now and don't miss out.