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Updates from week commencing 9 January 2023

Read all the updates that took place throughout this week.

Thursday 12 January 2023


England: Meeting Steve Barclay 

Today, together with our medical colleagues, we met with Secretary of State Steve Barclay to talk pay. 

Just a day after an unprecedented real-terms pay cut was confirmed we spelled the facts: how this service is on the brink, and how the pay review process is not fit for purpose. 

It was a civil exchange, and very much a listening exercise from government. But we're very clear Ministers need to be willing to act.  


England: New skill mix guidance in NHS GDS

NHS England has published new guidance for dental teams on supporting the use of skill mix in NHS general dental practice. This follows the ‘marginal changes’ announced last year, which amended the FP17 to allow for the contributions of DCPs to courses of treatment to be recorded.
The guidance provides information to dental teams about the use of skill mix in NHS general dental practice. It also seeks to clarify the regulatory position on dental therapists and dental hygienists providing direct access to patient care within NHS primary dental services. It is important that a DCP is properly trained, competent and indemnified to undertake any treatment. Practices should have appropriate conversations to ensure that this is in place and that all members of the team are comfortable with changes to how NHS activity is being delivered.
While making greater use of the dental team is a model that works for some practices, we have made it clear to NHS England that the UDA system is a key barrier to making effective use of skill mix and that this change will be not be a sufficient step to addressing the crisis facing NHS dentistry.


Associates: Tips for competitive pay

Associates often ask us for guidance on what constitutes a fair percentage for splitting costs with practice owners. We advise basing the figure on individual circumstances and to ensure you are using our updated model associate agreements to establish licence fee arrangements with practice owners.

We also recommend asking your practice owner for an annual fees review. When requesting a pay increase you should consider your performance and cost of living changes while practice owners will need to consider overheads.

To support associates and practice owners during these pay discussions we’ve created a UDA value checker to estimate UDA values both by contract and by local areas and regions. There are many factors contributing to levels of happiness and job satisfaction. Our advisory service team are available to support members on a vast range of issues.


The four nations' wishes for 2023

As we enter the new year, the four British Dental Association offices across the UK have been asked by BDJ In Practice to reflect on the struggles that affected the profession over the past year and to express their wishes to improve the situation in 2023 and beyond.

We recognise that the dental industry is facing a tough period. The disillusionment towards NHS dentistry is not a new trend, with insufficient funding, and unsatisfactory government uplifts.

We are working hard to push for contract reforms and resolve workforce issues as we continue to press for intervention and action on the issues facing dentistry across the UK.

Wednesday 11 January 2023


England: PM needs to correct the record


We're clear the Prime Minister needs to correct the record, after a wholesale misrepresentation of the problems facing NHS dentistry at today's PMQs.

Pressed by multiple MPs on the access crisis he said: "as a result of the new reformed NHS dentistry contract there are now more NHS dentists across the UK with more funding making sure people can get the treatment they need."


Whether it's new dentists, new contracts or new money, each and every of one of those claims is inaccurate.

We are pleased that MPs have already joined our call, and written to the PM. We are working to ensure dentistry remains at the very top of the political agenda.  




England: Another NHS pay cut

Officials have finally confirmed the figures for the 2022/23 NHS pay uplift in England. 

The substantially delayed uplift in contract values for general dental practice is 4.75%. This will be backdated to April 2022, reflecting a 4.5% rise in pay with an additional uplift applied for practice expenses. 

It's an unprecedented pay cut at the Eleventh Hour, and tomorrow we are raising this directly with Health Secretary Barclay, alongside our sister unions. 

The pay review process itself is broken. Our members – like all health professionals - deserve fair and timely pay uplifts. When so many are reconsidering continuing to work in the NHS, to do otherwise is an act of self-harm.


Webinar: Erosive tooth wear 

There's still time to register for tomorrow's webinar on tooth wear and how to manage it. Nicola West, Professor and Honorary Consultant in Restorative Dentistry at Bristol Dental School, is presenting. 

The aim of the webinar is to give members of the dental team a greater understanding of dental erosion and dentine hypersensitivity. All dental care professionals are welcome.

The webinar is kindly sponsored by Oral-B and will take place tomorrow, Thursday 12 January 19:30 - 20:30, register today to attend and share this sign-up link with any dental practitioners you know.

Tuesday 10 January 2023


Employment type tax implications 

HMRC guidance on self-employment status is changing and they are likely to undertake reviews on the employment status of associate dentists.

Practice owners will have the responsibility of deciding whether workers are employed or self-employed, both for tax and National Insurance purposes.

The subject relies on case law rather than tax legislation and may seem complex, however, practice owners can prepare for the changes ahead of time. Being aware of the possible issues and implications for any associates engaged in contracts can facilitate the process.


Associate contracts offering independence

As of April 2023, HMRC is changing its guidance on the self-employed status of associate dentists. There will be more emphasis on HMRC's Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) toolOur blog examines how the CEST tool applies to associate dentists.

Our model associate agreements reflect both practice owners and associates' desire, expressed strongly in recent focus groups, for associates to remain independent. Practices have the option in our model agreement to make associates financially accountable and associates have the freedom to work independently.

A good associate agreement alone will not be enough to pinpoint who is self-employed, but we have taken advice and believe that those working to our model associate agreement will be considered as such.

Monday 9 January 2023


Growing back gums webinar

Amit Patel, Associate Specialist and Honorary Clinical Lecturer, is delivering a webinar on how to help improve soft tissue outcomes through connective tissue grafts.

This webinar's aim is to explore how soft tissue assessment and management is essential to the long-term success of dental implants.

The webinar is kindly sponsored by Oral-B and will take place on Thursday 19 January 19:30 – 20:30, register to attend today and share this sign-up link with your colleagues.


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