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Updates from week commencing 11 July 2022

Read all the updates that took place throughout this week.


Friday 15 July 2022


Scotland: Your views on future NHS model

The Scottish Government recently issued a letter updating dental teams on the next steps for long-term contractual reform and confirming a reduction in the multiplier from 1.7 to 1.3, meaning some procedures will no longer be financially viable.

The letter includes a commitment to long term reform, including a wider engagement programme in the future. A survey has been issued to gather information and your comments on a potential future NHS model. It is vital to share your views to help build a national consensus on reform and a contract that works for everyone.

A review of the multiplier will take place again in advance of the October/paid November schedule. In the meantime, we will keep you informed of any developments with the multiplier and the upcoming reform process.


Lloyd & Whyte webinar

Lloyd & Whyte are delivering a 60-minute webinar 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 7.30pm via Zoom, register now to secure your place.


Practice owners and associates: Your views on dentistry

Share your evidence, views, and experience by completing our GDP and CDS surveys to help us 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, check your email inbox and junk folder for a survey link.

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.

Thursday 14 July 2022


Northern Ireland: Addressing the crisis of confidence in Health Service dentistry

We recently received a letter from the new Department of Health Permanent Secretary, Peter May. Following a meeting in June, the letter outlines how we can work together to address the ongoing issues facing dentistry while discussing our wishes for long term reform.
We are working hard to highlight the ways in which HS dentistry must be reformed to be financially viable. We are pleased that the new Permanent Secretary is engaged in this process, is listening to our concerns and looking to consult with you through a GDP survey in the coming months, but there is clearly a long road ahead of us.
Your views are vital to help shape what changes need to be made to the contract and funding model going forward. We will continue to make sure your views are heard and will keep you updated on our progress.


England: NHS dentists and the Healthier Futures Action Fund

NHS dentists who are interested in making greener choices for the sake of the environment can apply for the Healthier Futures Action Fund (HFAF)

The fund supports individuals and teams within NHS organisations to kick-start innovative initiatives or ideas that will improve health and patient care, reduce inequalities, and deliver good value, while supporting a more sustainable health service.

It is open for applications between 6 July and 19 August 2022 from individuals and teams within the NHS. Find out more about the Healthier Futures Action Fund and how to apply on FutureNHS (you will need to register for a FutureNHS account to access this information).


Sounding the alarm on dental tourism  

Today, the BBC are leading on our new research on the rise in patients seeking dental treatment abroad. 

We’ve surveyed our members and the results are stark:

It’s very clear the authorities need to do far more to spell out the potential risks to patients.  

We encourage all members to read through our findings and share the information with your patients.  

Wednesday 13 July 2022


Wellbeing: Listen to the latest Peace of Mind podcast

The latest episode of the Health Assured Peace of Mind podcast, exploring body image and self-acceptance, is now available. Members can access it via YouTube, Spotify or Apple Podcasts, or in the My Healthy Advantage app.

We provide all members with confidential access to Health Assured. This support includes counselling, legal information, bereavement support and CBT online. Members can access the Health Assured helpline 24/7, 365 days a year on 0800 030 5182.


Scotland: Criticism of reduced financial support for dental practices

We have written to the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care to express our dismay at the Scottish Government’s decision to reduce the fee multiplier from 1.7 to 1.3 from July.

The profession was informed about this change at short notice and without consultation. The Government’s decision demonstrates a lack of understanding about how dental practices operate. We have again expressed concerns that reducing the multiplier will compel dentists to deliver some treatments at a financial loss. This will likely increase the exodus of dentists from the NHS and adversely affect patient access, further widening oral health inequalities.

We have urged the Government to consider the views of a wide spectrum of dentists when discussing long-term contractual reform. We will update you when we receive a response. 

Tuesday 12 July 2022


England and Wales: Claiming your NHS pensions and 24-hour retirement

Claiming your NHS pension when retiring is a straightforward process if you plan for it at least three months in advance of your chosen retirement date. If you are a General Dental Practitioner, your status within a Dental Practice will determine what you will need to do. We have produced advice for members on how to retire and claim your NHS pension .

If you are a sole trader and an active member of the NHS Scheme, you must take a break of at least 24 hours to receive pension benefits. If you do not take this break, you risk your benefits not being paid. Our advice team have compiled everything you need to know about 24-hour retirement .


England: National Standards of Healthcare Cleanliness

The National Standards of Healthcare Cleanliness 2021 are now being used to replace the 2007 specifications. The framework requires practices to carry out cleaning, audit tasks to ensure they have been completed correctly and for the results of the audit to be reported internally.

The CQC, who already inspect on these issues stated: “This guidance mirrors expectations for GP providers which are already covered by our regulations and the code of practice. For example, IPC audit processes, waste management, cleaning schedules and maintenance of equipment. There are no expectations that we require star ratings or logos to be displayed in general practices. We will continue to regulate using Regulations 12 and 15. We will also regulate using the code of practice on prevention and control of infection.”

We believe that this guidance is overcomplicated and is adding an additional layer of work to already busy practices. We are currently working with the NHS to understand how this may work in the future. In the meantime, we have produced cleaning schedules, including separate documents for each procedure that must be carried out at different times.


Investigating DCT pay disparity

We’re fighting for pay equity for DCT’s in Northern Ireland. Our latest survey has shown a worrying trend in trainees who are feeling underappreciated and undervalued.

Peter Dyer explores the issues in his latest blog: “Some trainees feel cheated, especially as, in some cases they only discover the lower pay once they have signed the contract and started the job. The refusal to put pay scales on job adverts unnecessarily misleads and demoralises trainees.”

We are aware that trainees in Scotland are facing similar pay disparity issues too, including a pay gap between junior dentists and doctors. We are currently gathering more data on pay disparities across all UK nations and will keep you updated with our progress.

Monday 11 July 2022


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.” 


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.