BDA Scottish Council meeting: August 2019
BDA Scottish Council met on 15 August. Members expressed concerns that the recent advert for the new Chief Dental Officer effectively precluded independent general practitioners – who represent around 80-90 per cent of the profession – from applying as the post is offered on a secondment basis, requiring a current employment contract. There was also continued frustration about the lengthy waiting lists for paediatric extractions under general anaesthetic, and how the problem could be highlighted to prompt urgent action.
Members also discussed: progress with the Oral Health Improvement Plan, including the planned introduction of an Oral Health Risk Assessment; the results of a recent BDA Scotland survey, including dentists' concerns about funding and other issues; NHS Boards' responses to a survey of progress in taking forward relevant actions in BDA Scotland's Oral Cancer Action Plan; an update on BDA Indemnity; and support for local Branch and Section events.
Scottish Council will next meet on 12 December.
Pay uplift for dentists in Scotland
The UK-wide Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration (DDRB) published its report on 23 July. The DDRB recommended a 2.5% net uplift for General Dental Practitioners. The UK Government accepted the 2.5% recommendation for dentists in England, and we issued a press release calling on the Scottish Government to: accept the DDRB recommendation; award at least 3% for expenses; introduce the overall pay uplifts as soon as possible; and backdate them to April 2019.
BDA survey of dentists in Scotland
In June, the BDA issued a survey to dentists in Scotland to ask for their views on a range of issues, including:
- Oral health / aspects of the Oral Health Improvement Plan
- Funding for NHS dentistry
- National leadership
- General issues – information management systems, pensions
- Role of the BDA.
The survey aims to ensure the BDA is representing members effectively, and to present the findings to the Scottish Government as evidence of dentists' concerns. The survey closed on 25 July.
Scottish Council Oral Cancer Working Group
Following the launch of our Oral Cancer Action Plan
in November 2018, BDA Scotland wrote to the Director of Dentistry in each NHS Board in May 2019 to follow up the actions for Boards in the Plan to assess how they are taking forward, or plan to take forward these actions. The survey may also help to identify examples of good practice.
BDA Scotland published a blog
on 30 April 2019 from Mark McDonald MSP giving a very personal account on how oral cancer affected his family and the improtance of early detection.
Quality Improvement – new arrangements
In early July, the Scottish Government issued new arrangements for quality improvement activities by dentists for the 3-year cycle 2019-22. Year one (2019/20) will comprise a Safety Climate Survey (SCS) at dental practice team level. (The activities for years two and three will be announced in due course). The SCS requires each practice staff member to complete a short online survey on the "safety climate" within the practice. The practice should use the findings from the subsequent report to develop an Action Plan that it will use to generate improvements. Practices will be required to upload evidence from its findings to the NES Portal. The Scottish Government will issue more detailed information about the new arrangements soon.
HPV Vaccine for Boys in Scotland
Earlier this year, the Minister for Public Health, Wellbeing and Sport stated that the HPV vaccination programme would be extended to boys later this year, and that the Scottish Government was considering the evidence regarding a catch-up programme.
We raised the issue of a catch-up programme at our meeting with the Minister in June, and following recent media coverage of the vaccination programme, we issued a press release on 9 July calling on the Scottish Government to introduce a catch-up programme for older boys.
BDA Scotland meeting with the Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing
BDA Scotland staff and the Chairs of Scottish Council and Committees met with the Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing and Interim Chief Dental Officer on 13 June. The Minister recently assumed portfolio responsibility for dentistry and agreed to meet with BDA representatives at least twice a year.
Various issues were discussed, including: the appointment of a permanent CDO (there is still no definitive timescale for advertising the post); progress with various aspects of the Oral Health Improvement Plan, and how these will be funded; lengthy waiting times for paediatric extractions under general anaesthetic, and how NHS Boards are tackling the issue; and when the HPV vaccination programme for adolescent boys will begin. Attendees also discussed local water fluoridation, and the extent of public scepticism. The Minister agreed to consider evidence about this issue from elsewhere in the UK.
Domiciliary Care: Memorandum to NHS: PCA(D)(2019)9