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Updates from week commencing 6 June 2022

Read all the updates that took place throughout this week.

Friday 10 June 2022


England: Javid told to correct the record on failed contract fuelling access crisis 

We have pressed Health Secretary Sajid Javid to correct the official record after he claimed we were the co-authors of the discredited NHS contract fuelling the current crisis in NHS dentistry.

In response to questions from Duncan Baker MP on the urgent need for dental contract reform, Javid told the House of Commons "it is well known how the Labour Government came up with contracts with the British Dental Association that are leading to poor outcomes for millions of people across the country". 

It goes without saying that we refused to sign up to a model that placed government targets ahead of patient care when the contract was imposed in England and Wales in 2006.   


In an open letter, BDA Chair Eddie Crouch and General Dental Practice Committee Chair Shawn Charlwood have urged Mr Javid to make a short personal statement to the House correcting this egregious error and to guarantee that urgent and meaningful reform – as well as appropriate funding – are delivered. 


LDC Conference

At the Local Dental Committees (LDCs) Conference today, dental leaders warned NHS dentistry is in intensive care and the government needs to resuscitate it from catastrophic decline before it's too late.

The LDC Conference, attended by more than 230 delegates from across the UK, warned that in some parts of the country there is effectively no NHS dental service because of the government's failure to act and to invest in dentistry.

Dentists stressed that over 43 million appointments were lost in England alone, and oral health inequalities are set to widen between areas of deprivation and more prosperous areas. They also warned that the backlog will take years to clear and a recruitment and retention crisis in NHS dentistry not seen since the inception of the NHS in 1948.

Dentists spoke about their frustration that promised reforms to the "broken" and discredited dental contract since 2008 have never been delivered and are driving dentists away from the NHS. 

There is an existential crisis in dentistry, the chair of the BDA's General Dental Practice Committee, Shawn Charlwood, warned in his address.  "I told Jeremy Hunt and his Health Select committee colleagues that I feared a slow death for this service" he said. "We've lost thousands of NHS dentists since lockdown  the direct result of the choices made by government."


Northern Ireland: IPC changes effective now 

Northern Ireland's Chief Dental Officer, Caroline Lappin, has informed dental practices of changes to the Infection Prevention Control Guidance. A short guide on the updated changes is available.

This is effective for all dental settings from 7 July 2022, providing a transition period for review of policies and updating of risk assessments. However, the guidance is valid with immediate effect for those settings who are in a position to implement sooner.

The Northern Ireland Regional Manual has also been updated, following the removal of the UK wide Dental Appendix on 27 May.

Claims for Level II PPE under Code 3001 will only be paid from 7 July for aerosol generating procedures on patients known or suspected to be positive with a respiratory pathogen. Justification must be made in the notes – an explanatory Memorandum to Dental Services (MDS) will follow from the CDO.


CPD: Mental health in the workplace

Mental health conditions within dental teams are common, particularly as a result of the pandemic where staff have faced increased levels of 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 supportive and 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.

Thursday 9 June 2022


Northern Ireland: A way forward on dental workforce issues

This week, we highlighted the factors behind alarmingly low levels of morale within the CDS workforce and repeated the case for a workforce review at the Northern Ireland Joint Negotiating Forum.

We emphasised the difficult environment CDS dentists are working in, the widespread sense of burnout and the need for long-awaited reforms to be urgently taken forward. 

The Department of Health has responded with a commitment to moving forward on dental workforce planning. A refreshed Dental Workforce Review will be progressed in the coming months. This will ensure dentistry's needs are represented in the high-level workforce strategy which will be published shortly. The CDO has also committed to reviewing the CDS workforce specifically.

Following years of stagnation, we are hopeful we will see much needed movement on these important issues. We will continue to update you and campaign on your behalf.

Wednesday 8 June 2022


BDJ: Interested in learning more about dental materials?

The BDJ dental materials themed issue explores a wide range of dental materials topics including dental amalgam, glass-ionomer cements and developments in resin-based composites. Offering practical tips, as well as detailed explanations and reviews.

Articles include:

You may also find our collection of dental materials eBooks of interest.


Northern Ireland: Rebuilding Support Scheme extended to Q2

It's been confirmed that the Rebuilding Support Scheme (RSS) uplift of 25% will continue in to Quarter 2. The Minister has approved the continuation until the end of September 2022. 

Practitioners are reminded that they need to apply each month for the RSS, and meet the conditions of the scheme.


Wales: Updated guidance on respiratory transmitted illnesses 

The Welsh Government has published updated guidance on the management of respiratory transmitted illnesses (including COVID-19). This guidance was published following the withdrawal of the COVID-19: Infection prevention and control dental appendix on the 27 May 2022. 

The guidance covers Service Recovery and learning from COVID-19 in Wales, Risk Assessment and managing the practice environment.

Tuesday 7 June 2022


Practice owners and associates: Share your experiences

As inflation hits a 40-year high of 9%, we are launching our GDP and CDS surveys. We need your evidence, views, and experience to make a case for uplifts on pay and contract expenses on your behalf.

Our survey covers recruitment, retention, job satisfaction, motivation, morale, stress, wellbeing, and future career intentions. To make your voice heard, keep an eye on your emails. We will send a survey link to a random sample of members, so please check your inbox and junk folders. 

The survey takes just 10 to 15 minutes to complete, and all members who share their views will go into a draw to win a £100 gift card. Your views and insights will help inform our yearly submission to the Doctors and Dentists Review Body, that makes recommendations on dentists pay.


Wales: ACORNs not required with UDA-only contract


Russell Gidney, Chair of the Welsh General Dental Practice Committee, recently wrote to Andrew Dickenson, Chief Dental Officer Wales (CDO), to raise the issue of ACORNs and the UDA-only contract. There has been some confusion around this issue, so we're pleased to be able to clarify the position of non-contract reform practices. 


The CDO has now made clear that practices not participating in the reform programme do not have to complete the ACORN data collection. They encourage all GDS practices to support ACORN data collection, which provides a baseline risk profile of their patient group, as it would assist if they wished to consider a reformed contract in the future. However, this is not mandatory. 

Monday 6 June 2022


Library: 50 hours of verifiable CPD with our eBook quizzes

Members can earn up to 50 hours of CPD through our eBooks CPD quizzes.

Our collection of eBooks cover a broad range of dental subjects, encouraging wider thinking and keeping knowledge current. Popular titles include; Cawson's Essentials of oral pathology and oral medicine, Paediatric dentistry, Pickard's Guide to minimally invasive operative dentistry, Infection control in primary dental care and more.

Five new titles have recently been added to the collection:

  • Fixed orthodontic appliances: a practical guide [BDJ Clinician's Guide]
  • Periodontology (4th edition) [BDJ Clinician's Guide]
  • Textbook of oral cancer - prevention, diagnosis and management
  • Risk assessment in oral health - a concise guide for clinical application
  • Practical procedures in the management of tooth wear.

Each title is provided with 20 multiple choice questions worth 2 hours CPD, allowing you to earn up to 50 hours CPD on completion.