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Updates from week commencing 7 February 2022

Read all the updates that took place throughout this week.

Friday 11 February 2022


Scotland: Scottish Government funded PPE extended to March 2023

A reminder to dental practices that the Scottish Government confirmed in December that they will continue to fund provision of PPE for NHS dentistry until March 2023. The Government previously committed to provide PPE until the end of March 2022 and Ministers agreed to extend the current arrangements for up to a year, subject to current guidance still being in place. National Services Scotland (NSS) will keep PPE arrangements under review throughout the year, with a view to introducing lasting arrangements that align with longer-term post-pandemic plans.


BDJ: How does menopause affect the dental workforce?


The latest issue of the British Dental Journal shines a light on significant failings in care for women experiencing the menopause in the workplace. Within dentistry, not only are 76.9% of the dental team women, but 35% of dental care professionals (DCPs) and 43% of dentists are currently within the age range that can be affected by menopause – a large proportion of the dental workforce.


Our survey found a strong pattern of highly experienced women leaving general practice partnerships, ending their positions as clinical leaders and directors, and leaving medicine early because they were struggling to cope with menopause symptoms with no support from management or peers. 


The BDJ article covers how we can support members of the dental team going through the menopause, including reasonable adjustments to the workplace environment and creating an open and transparent space for discussions. 


BDA by-elections 2022: Do you want to represent your profession?

Nominations are now open for the 2022 BDA by-elections. We're looking for members to come forward to represent their colleagues across a whole range of BDA committees. You can find the full list of available seats on our elections page.

These committees help determine BDA policy and are key to making sure the voice of the profession is heard by governments and administrations across the four countries of the UK.

If you are interested in influencing positive change for dentists and dentistry, we encourage you to nominate yourself for the relevant seat. Nominations close midday Monday 14 March.

Thursday 10 February 2022


NHS England: £50m urgent care funding Q&As

On 25 January, NHS England announced an additional £50m funding allocation focused on urgent care, to be spent by the end of March 2022. Since then, general practices and community services have been invited by commissioners to express an interest in providing care under this allocation. There has been some uncertainty around the terms and processes to be applied for teams to access the funding and we have raised a number of questions with NHS England. They have produced a series of questions and answers to seek to address some of these questions being raised. 


Podcast: Entrepreneurship in dentistry


On our podcast, three dentists who each run their own business chat to us about what it's like to take the leap.


They discuss the obstacles, the rewards and answer our most pressing questions such as - when is the right time to do it? What are the right motivations? And, is it worth it?


Our guests have all taken risks to own their businesses including: taking over an independent practice, building a ten-site empire and creating a digital start-up.


Join us for a frank and open conversation about entrepreneurship as a career choice in dentistry.


"We know dentistry inside out. We may not be financially trained or have done MBAs, but we know dentistry. We know patients, we know patient care."


Listen on Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Spotify or search "Chairside" on your chosen podcast platform.



England: A year's worth of dentistry lost, but no urgency from government


We have stressed urgent reform of the NHS dental contract is needed as MPs prepare to speak at a major debate on the future of NHS dentistry today. We asked our members to write to their MPs and demand these much-needed changes.


Our data analysis shows that nearly 40 million courses of treatment have been lost since March 2020 – equivalent to more than a full year's worth of dental care in pre-Covid times.


Now a parallel collapse in morale across the service will limit the progress of tackling the backlog. Our recent survey highlighted:


  • Two thirds (66%) of GDPs indicated they will reduce their NHS commitment, with more than a third (34%) stating they plan to go fully private in the next year
  • Over 40% of dentists indicate they are likely to change career or seek early retirement in the next 12 months given the current pressures on the service
  • Less than half (48%) are confident their practice will continue to provide any NHS services from April 2022
  • Most are struggling to hit the imposed target of 85% pre-Covid, due to high levels of staff sickness, patient cancellations and recruitment issues.

We thank the hundreds of you who wrote to your MPs. We hope they will stand up on your behalf today. We will keep you updated on developments.


Watch the debate live from 13.30.



Wednesday 9 February 2022


Good Practice: Contextual safeguarding course

Contextual safeguarding shifts the way that child protection is considered and addressed. Our exclusive course for Good Practice members introduces the concept of contextual safeguarding and how dental practices can play a role.

GPS members should contact for their enrolment key. 


Advice: one-to-one advice available for Extra and Expert members 

Did you know, if you're an Extra or Expert member you have access to unlimited one-to-one advice via phone or email from our team of experienced advisors?

With more than 70 years of advising dentists, our advisors are experts in the laws, contracts, and regulations of dentistry. If you're facing complex issues, we will pair you with an advisor who will handle your advice on a one-to-one basis. 

Expert membership also gives you and your team all the policies, templates, and checklists you need to manage a safe, efficient and compliant practice.

For more information on one-to-one advice, contact our Practice support team on 020 7563 4574 or email:

Not a member? Join today.


Thousands of overseas dentists unable to practise in the UK

We have called on Ministers and the dental regulator to deliver rapid change to laws governing tests for overseas dentists, after COVID restrictions have left thousands of applicants waiting to pass registration exams to practise in the UK.


Due to the pandemic, the Overseas Registration Exam (ORE) has not taken place since January 2020. In response to a parliamentary question, Minister Maria Caulfield MP revealed over 2,000 applicants are currently waiting for an opportunity to sit these exams.

Patients in England face profound access problems, with over 38 million NHS appointments lost since the first lockdown, and nearly 1,000 dentists leaving NHS services in the last year. Every new colleague unable to sit this exam translates into thousands of patients that will be denied access to needed care.

We have been overwhelmed by messages from candidates citing desperation, suicidal thoughts and immense anger at the current situation. We have stressed that the government must act quickly on feedback and ensure that these dentists are supported.

Tuesday 8 February 2022


NHS dentistry: Urgent change is needed

In a recent blog, a practice owner who has worked as an NHS dentist since qualifying in 1996 stresses the need for urgent reform of the NHS dental contract and urges dentists to write to their MPs.

"We need government to do something now – if UDAs remain after 31 March this year, I fear the exodus of dentists from NHS to private will increase exponentially. […] Two of our three current associate dentists have just handed in their notice, soon to be moving to private dental practices. The third is actively looking for a private role and has had interviews in private practices, so it is only a matter of time before all three have gone. That will leave just me providing fully NHS dental care in my area." 


Indemnity: Hughes v Rattan case

Len D'Cruz, Head of BDA Indemnity, looks at the recent judgement from the Appeal Court in the Hughes v Rattan case in his latest blog. 

Although Dr Rattan was found not vicariously liable for the actions of self-employed associates if they carried out negligent treatment, it remains unclear whether this case is sufficient to argue that a purely private practice owner escapes the non-delegable duty (NDD), because such a large element of this duty flows from the construction of the NHS GDS contract.

"It is very likely that unless you have specific entity cover which names the limited company, your personal professional indemnity with a defence organisation, for example, will not cover you in the event of a patient suing the practice entity.

"BDA Indemnity has been aware of these risks from the very start and includes vicarious liability cover into the insurance policy for all policyholders, practice owners and associates alike."

Monday 7 February 2022


Scotland: NHS dentistry access coverage

We recently highlighted falling participation rates and widening health inequalities across NHS dentistry in Scotland.

Participation rates have continued to fall during the pandemic due to ongoing restrictions imposed on dental practices. On 30 September 2021, just over half of registered patients (52.6%) had seen an NHS dentist within the last two years, a considerable reduction from almost two-thirds (65.1%) in 2020. The participation rate among children was higher than for adults (63.9% compared to 50.2%).

Today, BDA chair of the Scottish Dental Practice Committee David McColl, was interviewed on BBC Radio Good Morning Scotland, as part of a wider piece on access to NHS services. David said that dental practices are prioritising emergencies and those in urgent need of care, but he warned that a lot of children haven't been seen for more than two years. He said the current remuneration model isn't viable and doesn't allow dental practices to use the skill mix to facilitate check-ups and provide preventive advice.

Opposition health spokespersons Jackie Baillie MSP (Scottish Labour) and Sandesh Gulhane MSP (Scottish Conservatives) were also on BBC Good Morning Scotland this morning, echoing our concerns about the challenges facing dentistry and highlighting our survey results from late 2021 which raised major concerns about Scottish Government plans to end support payments.

We will continue to shed light on the issues important to you.


Scotland: Changes to NHS Recruitment and Retention Allowances

To help tackle the challenge of recruiting and retaining dentists in some NHS Boards, the Scottish Government has reviewed the areas that are eligible for the Recruitment and Retention Allowance and have made changes so that the allowance better reflects current circumstances.  


The main changes are:

  • Changes to the terminology of Designated and Non-Designated to Classification 1 and 2
  • Expanding the list of qualifying areas
  • Allowing Vocational Trainees to claim a reduced level of the allowance during their training year
  • Removing the differential between payments to newly qualified and those returning after five years.

We broadly welcomed the changes, but raised several queries about the inclusion of further geographical areas in classification areas and suggested reintroducing "Golden Hellos" to encourage dental graduates to remain in Scotland. We also noted that the recruitment crisis is now widespread and stressed that more needs to be done to address the issue for all members of the dental team.  

The Scottish Government advised that the geographical areas are determined through a Board-run process and that they will be reviewed on a regular basis with our suggestions for changes being passed onto the relevant Boards for consideration. Regarding "Golden Hellos", this is something we will pursue with the Scottish Government during discussions about full contractual reform for NHS dentistry. 


Online patient review QR code poster available to Good Practice members

It has always been essential for practices to understand and learn from the patient experience. It is, however, not always easy to ask your patients to leave a positive comment on the treatment and service they have received. Why not encourage your patients to leave a positive review? 

To make this easier, we have created a QR code poster  exclusively for our Good Practice members to display. Contact to request a poster specific to your practice.