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Updates from week commencing 4 July 2022

Read all the updates that took place throughout this week.

Friday 8 July 2022


Scotland: Changes in SDRS communications

The Scottish Dental Reference Service (SDRS), which monitors the standard and quality of NHS dental treatment in Scotland, have changed how communications are shared with dentists.
Letters to dentists, including Dental Reference Officer (DRO) reports, are no longer sent by post, and are now sent electronically using NHS email, which allows for secure communication that is more convenient and reliable. Currently, patients will still receive correspondence by post. 
All dentists need to ensure NHS email accounts are checked regularly to make sure that no communications are missed. If you have any queries, please contact the SDRS by email, or by calling 0345 712 5449.


Calling time on sugar-laden baby food pouches   
Today the media are leading on our new research, showing how baby food giants are marketing products to parents of children as young as four months that contain higher levels of sugar by volume than Coke.  
We’re still waiting on government to honour pledges to consult on the labelling and marketing of infant foods, but clearly we need action. 

Tooth decay is the number one reason for hospital admissions among young children, and sugar is driving this epidemic. As our chair Eddie Crouch notes, “these products risk hooking the next generation before they can even walk.” 

Thursday 7 July 2022


Wales: New award for Greener Primary Care

Public Health Wales has announced the new Greener Primary Care Wales Framework and Award Scheme to help independent primary care providers to improve their environmental sustainability.

The framework is free to access online and consists of over 50 actions for practices to choose from. By signing up, you can join the growing group of practices which are making small but important changes for the climate. 



GDC signals annual fee increase 

The GDC has signalled an increase in annual fees for registrants as part of its emerging strategic plan for 2023-25.

The regulator has signalled its intentions to raise fees above levels set in 2019, to around £730 (+7%) for dentists and to around £120 (+5%) for dental care professionals and that fee levels will track inflation.
We have been clear that this will only undermine progress in rebuilding trust and confidence in the regulator among the profession.


Northern Ireland: Submit Rebuilding Support Scheme applications today

The Business Services Organisation has stated that applications for the GDS Rebuilding Support Scheme must be received by 5pm today.

No applications will be processed after the deadline and late support payments will not be made, so it is vital you do not miss the cut off time.

Wednesday 6 July 2022


England: Open letter urges action from new Health Secretary

In an open letter, we have urged the new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Steve Barclay MP to act now on the crisis in NHS dentistry. 

The scale of change across government is likely to have an impact on the sign-off of new policies that require input from multiple departments, including the Department of Health and Social Care and the Treasury.

We have stressed only meaningful change can halt the exodus from the workforce and improve access for patients.


BDJ: Arranging locum cover

A recently published article in the British Dental Journal explores how good communication is key to solving problems that arise when looking to provide locum cover.

The article, provided by James Goldman, Associate Director of Advisory Services at the BDA explores how associates, practice owners and locums can work together to solve brewing problems.
When associates need to take time away from the practice, it is important to work together to find the right solution. Clear communication benefits everyone and can help to avoid difficulties.


England & Wales: Associate dentists and employment status

A recent decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal poses questions on whether associate dentists in England and Wales have some rights, such as rights in relation to protection from discrimination.


An associate bought a claim of unlawful discrimination against Rodericks. Self-employed people can still have protection against discrimination if they are found by the tribunal to be what is known as a "worker".

This case suggests that associates engaged under some associates agreements are workers and therefore have some rights, including in relation to discrimination. More recent versions of dental associate agreements, including the BDA model and the latest Rodericks associate agreement, guard against such a finding.


We are currently assessing the implications of this case for members. Our advice teams are happy to advise members who may be affected.




DCT: Pay disparity causing low morale among trainees

Our latest DCT survey has shown a worrying trend in trainees who are left feeling underappreciated and undervalued when trying to take the next steps on the career ladder. Many are doing the same job as their peers, for significantly lower pay.

Peter Dyer explores the issues facing trainees in his latest blog: “This disparity is completely unjustifiable. Trainees moving from DCT to speciality training are losing up to £10,000 a year compared to those in other nations. This is a huge loss of potential earnings over the course of your training. Students are being let down because of the way the banding has been set up despite achieving the same competencies under a national recruitment process.”

We cannot continue with an unfair system; we will continue to work and lobby to ensure that action is taken to close the gap. We are currently gathering more data on pay disparities across all UK nations and will keep you updated with our progress.

Tuesday 5 July 2022


England: MPs tour dental school

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Dentistry and Oral Health paid a visit to King’s College Dental School last week.

The visit saw MPs tour the award-winning simulation, clinical and training facilities, trying out dental procedures in virtual reality using phantom heads. The visit provided a great opportunity to catch up with politicians about the progress on contract reform, activity targets and recruitment and retention issues.

We continue to work to raise the profile of dentistry among parliamentarians and policy makers. We will keep you updated as we work to ensure dentistry stays high on the political agenda, maintaining the pressure for change.


74 years of NHS dentistry

Today we mark the 74th birthday of the NHS, by telling the story of NHS dentures from our BDA Museum collection.
The early days of dentistry in the health service were preoccupied with extracting teeth and fitting artificial teeth. In our video, BDA Museum volunteer and retired dentist, Roland Hopwood, explains how dentists tackled the huge levels of dental disease in the population, and the hard-won progress secured in the decades that followed. 

Today, the need for dentures has reduced considerably and people are now retaining their teeth for life. 
With NHS dentistry facing an uncertain future we continue to campaign for real reform and fair funding that delivers for dentists and their patients.

Find out more about our collection of dentures in the BDA Museum and the history of NHS dentistry.

Monday 4 July 2022


NHS conversion and bulk transfers made easy

Lloyd & Whyte will be online, discussing how patient payment plans can assist with your NHS conversion, providing an affordable route to private dentistry for your patients.

The webinar will also include discussions around the potential cost saving of reviewing your plan provider, and the options and processes of moving via bulk transfer.

The webinar will take place on Wednesday 20 July at 19:30 via Zoom, register now to secure your place.





Wales: Open GDP event tonight


We're holding a free online event tonight for GDPs from 19:00 to 21:00.


The event will include a series of short talks led by the Welsh General Dental Practice contract negotiating team: Russell Gidney, Dan Cook and Ravdeep Johal. Russell, Dan and Ravdeep are all practice owners in Wales.


The event aims to:

  • Gather your views on how well the contract offer is working
  • Hear from dentists who opted for the default UDA contract
  • Hear from dentists who have left NHS provision or are planning to do so

We'll use this information to run a Wales-wide survey over summer, which will help inform a report to the Senedd Health and Social Care Committee in the Autumn.


All dentists and dental care professionals are welcome to attend.