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Updates from week commencing 2 August 2021

Read all the updates that took place throughout this week.

Friday 6 August 2021



Northern Ireland: FSS3 to be announced


The Department of Health will be announcing the Financial Support Scheme (FSS) funding arrangements that will apply from 8 September 2021 until the remainder of this financial year. We have not been able to agree to the fundamental change of separating out PPE funding from the FSS or the reinstatement of an abatement of 15% to FSS3 payments.


This scheme will provide practitioners with certainty until the end of the financial year, which is so badly needed. But while we recognise that PPE funding should be allocated as fairly as possible according to actual usage, it should also not serve as a disincentive to activity. We are concerned at the unintended consequences these changes could have at practice level, read our statement in response to this announcement.





Former BDA CEO to join DDRB


Our former CEO Peter Ward will become the newest member of the Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration (DDRB). His appointment began on 1 August 2021 and ends on 31 July 2024.


The role of the DDRB (an independent body) is to make recommendations to governments across the UK on the remuneration of doctors and dentists taking any part in the National Health Service.


We wish Peter all the best in this new role.





Advice on COVID-19: Updates to our FAQs


Designed to give you and your practice the advice you need, our COVID FAQs are frequently updated with the latest information. Members' most frequently asked questions currently include:


  • Should I use the NHS COVID-19 app?
  • Must patients wear face coverings?
  • If I'm vaccinated, is full PPE essential?
  • Is the COVID-19 vaccination mandatory?
  • What if a staff member is told to self-isolate?





Honouring Dame Margaret Seward


We recently paid tribute to our former president Dame Margaret Seward, following news of her death. Her family have now set up a memorial page for those who wish to give to charity in her honour and leave a short message.


Dame Margaret Seward was the first female resident dental house surgeon at the London Hospital, went on to edit both the British (1979-92) and International Dental Journals (1990-2000) and became the second female president of the BDA in 1993. She was an elected member of the General Dental Council from 1976 and the first woman president (1994-99).


In 1994 Margaret was honoured with a CBE for services to dentistry, followed in 1999 by appointment as the first dental dame (DBE).  In the same year Dame Margaret retired from the GDC. In 2000 Dame Margaret was head-hunted by the Department of Health to take forward the process of modernising NHS dentistry as Chief Dental Officer for England.



Thursday 5 August 2021



Northern Ireland: Resources for challenging and abusive patients


BDA Northern Ireland know that some dental teams have been experiencing abuse from patients at present. Abuse of any kind towards dental staff cannot be tolerated and ensuring that all dental staff remain safe is vital. That's why we have produced new resources to support you in dealing with abusive patients and tough access conversations.


These helpful posters, which you can customise, print and put up in your practice, will help make clear to patients that abuse is never acceptable. We are also working with the Health and Social Care Board to put out a series of patient-facing messages about the pressures practices continue to face. These are a reminder to the public to be patient and respectful to dentists and their teams as they continue to deliver care in difficult circumstances.


We have partnered with local practitioner Ciara Gallagher to produce a video to explain access restrictions to your patients. Download this video to share it on your practice's social media platforms.





BDA Presidential Installation


The President of the British Dental Association is our most senior member, elected each year at the Annual General Meeting. The president has a ceremonial role during their one-year term of office, representing the BDA at appropriate meetings and events in the UK and overseas.


Our up-coming presidential installation ceremony will see our out-going President, Russ Ladwa give his valedictory address. He will then pass the BDA ceremonial jewel to in-coming President, Liz Kay, who will give her presidential speech. It will take place online on Tuesday 7 September at 20:00-20:30. Everyone is invited to attend and you can register to do so here: Registration (





England: NHS publishes guide to record management 


NHSX has published a helpful guide on managing dental records, the 2021 Records Management Code of Practice. It is specifically relevant to dental practices working within or under contract to the NHS in England. However, mixed practices are advised to take a consistent approach to record keeping and private practices should also consider adopting the same standards.


The guide covers the management of paper and digital records both on and off site. It also outlines a schedule for minimal retention of these records. This varies from a minimum of 15 years for clinical dental records to two years for patients' financial records (see Appendix II). It also provides very useful information and signposting to legal and professional obligations, as well as information on organising and manging records.





Scotland: Mental health resources


A recent report into the impact of the pandemic on dentists' mental health in Scotland has provided us with some fresh data on the effects of COVID-19. As many as 27% of survey respondents reported experiencing significant depressive symptoms during this period and 55% of primary care staff rated themselves as emotionally exhausted. These are deeply concerning figures.


To support you, we've been working jointly with the Scottish Government to produce a list of the mental health and wellbeing resources available to dentists and their teams across Scotland. This compilation highlights resources available to you - whether you're working in the NHS or in private practise. Whatever your situation, remember you are not alone and there are services out there which can help you.



Wednesday 4 August 2021



BDA Benevolent Fund’s upcoming AGM


The BDA Benevolent Fund’s 138th Annual General Meeting will take place on Thursday 2 September at 17:00. This virtual meeting will be an opportunity to see what the charity has achieved in the last year and learn more from the Trustees about how your vital support has helped those in the dental profession.


This year’s agenda will include:


  • Chairman’s report
  • Receipt of the annual report and accounts for the year ending 31 December 2020 and a report from the Treasurer
  • Re‐election of Trustee Dr Bill Creedon for a third term.

Register to attend by 16:00 on Wednesday 1 September.





Dental careers podcast: Kids, community and prisons


Have you thought about treating children? Or perhaps you’re pondering the prison service or CDS? On our podcast, Chairside: Conversations about careers in dentistry, Andrea Ogden speaks to two dentists about their careers in these areas, giving you an insight into their experience and motivations.


Jinesh Thakrar, ex-prison dentist and current CDS dentist: “Prison dentistry really helped me keep up my speed, helped with my diagnosing, as you can imagine there’s a high dental need there… I really got involved in doing a lot of endos, extirpations, extractions, lots of restoration work too, which I really enjoyed.”


David Drysdale, paediatric specialty registrar at GOSH and former CDS dentist: “The problem I had with the community was that you don’t receive much formal training. That’s why, I decided to do the masters in paediatric dentistry, it wasn’t to help me specialise, it was to do my job… it was on the back of doing the masters, and doing quite well that I decided to specialise…and I would go back [to work as a specialist in the community] in a heartbeat.”


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





Scotland: New Deputy Chief Dental Officers appointed


Today, three new Deputy Chief Dental Officers for Scotland have been announced. We would like to congratulate the new Deputy CDOs on their appointments and look forward to working constructively with them:


  • Zahid Imran, who currently works in NHS Tayside’s Public Dental Service and has undertaken a Specialty Dentist (Restorative) role at Dundee Dental Hospital
  • Gillian Leslie, a GDP and Practice Owner in East Lothian, with a career background in the Royal Navy and a special interest in Oral Surgery
  • Gavin McLellan, a GDP in Fife and Vocational Training Advisor with NES. He has been Senior Dental Advisor in Scottish Government since 2018, and latterly, Interim Deputy Chief Dental Officer. 

These appointments will support the service’s continuing remobilisation and recovery, contribute to the development of Scotland’s major programme of change in the delivery of NHS oral health care, and form an integral part of the Government’s network of senior clinical advisers. They will be in-post from the beginning of September 2021.





World Dental Congress 2021


This year’s World Dental Congress will be the first to be held entirely online, making it easier than ever to attend.


Co-hosted by the Australian Dental Association and the FDI World Dental Federation, this event will begin on 26 September. Featuring over 100 speakers, more than 200 sessions and a virtual exhibition, it aims to bring the global dental community together to share ideas, knowledge, and experiences, as well as the latest in practice, research, and industry.



Tuesday 3 August 2021



UK vaccination rates: Can dentists help?


Latest NHS figures show that vaccination rates, while encouragingly high overall, continue to vary significantly between communities in the UK.


At present, people identifying either as Black British or as Mixed White and Caribbean have some of the lowest overall rates of full vaccination. These stand at 60.8% and 66.3% for the over 50s respectively, and 32.2% and 31.7% for the over 18s. Those identifying as British Pakistani were also low, at 69.9% of over 50s and 36.9% for over 18s. These rates are particularly low in comparison to those identifying as White British, which come in at 92.9% of over 50s and 67.4% of over 18s. But what can dentists do?


In March this year, dental student and volunteer vaccinator, Mustafa Nawaz Khan told us his story about becoming a vaccinator and what dentists can do to help tackle vaccine misinformation and help engage all communities. Reflecting on these new statistics and what dentists can do, he's said:


"I'm pleased to see high rates across many communities. But we're clearly still got a lot more to do! Your patients likely know you better than they know their doctor, so if you can please do make the time to speak about your own experience, this could make all the difference. I saw this in action recently, when working at a walk-in clinic, more than one patient mentioned that their dentist had spoken to them about vaccination during a check-up!"





Wales: NHS bonus payment statement and application deadline


The first NHS Wales bonus payments will be made in the coming weeks. If you have applied for the bonus you can expect a supporting statement to be sent to the contact email address you provided on the claim form. To help understand the statement please refer to the quick guide for contractors/recipients to help recognise the email/attachment and provide an explanation of the different fields listed.


If you have not yet applied for your bonus there is still time to do so. Applications for the bonus payment for primary care will be accepted until 30 September 2021. As part of the application, you must submit a supporting statement. This Welsh Health Circular guide will help you complete the form. Don’t miss out, submit your application ahead of the closing date to receive your bonus payment and remind your colleagues to do the same.





Northern Ireland: Seeking clarity on pay award and FSS payments


We’re seeking clarity regarding the pay award and Financial Support Scheme (FSS) payments. We’ve written to Michael O’Neill, the Acting Director of General Healthcare Policy in Northern Ireland, to seek clarity on whether the 2.58% uplift from 2020-21 will be applied to FSS payments in the same manner to be backdated to 1 April 2020.


We also urged the Department to provide the profession with clarity on the 2021-22 pay offer to apply to Northern Ireland, including engagement with us on the expenses component at the earliest opportunity. We will keep you updated on the developments.


The DDRB process in Northern Ireland has long been fraught with significant delay, evidenced by the new SDR incorporating the pay uplift for 20/21 having only just been issued. We will continue to push for unacceptable delays to be taken out of the system and have provided members in Northern Ireland with our updated Fees Guide 2020-21 for use as a ready reckoner.





Northern Ireland: Updates to IPC guidance


Updates to Infection Prevention and Control guidance have been issued in Northern Ireland.


Yesterday, the Head of Dental Services wrote to all GDPs in Northern Ireland as lockdown easing continues and vaccine rates rise, to provide clarity on face coverings in the dental practice, self-isolation and international travel.


Important points to note include that staff members who have been deemed to be close contacts are likely not exempt from self-isolation advice, and patients who are required to self-isolate following international travel should not attend or enter the practice. The letter also touches on how to communicate to the public that dental practices are still not back to business as usual.



Monday 2 August 2021



Scotland: Increased PPE for trainee dental nurses and trainers


From this month, an allocation of free PPE is available to NHS practices who have taken on dental nurse trainees, NHS National Services Scotland has advised.


Eligible practices will have the extra allowance added to their allocation through Pecos, the online ordering platform. The number of dental nurses reportedly leaving the profession rose during the pandemic and adverts for recruitment are on the rise. It is hoped that this may go some way to supporting NHS practices to re-establish dental nurse training.





Risk assessment: Fully-vaccinated staff who are told to self-isolate


We have produced a risk assessment form which allows practices in England to consider whether a full vaccinated member of staff, who has been identified as a COVID-19 contact, may attend work.


There is some confusion regarding “pingdemic” – and you should be aware that in England the latest government guidance for staff working in health and social care settings states:


  • If staff absence creates a significant risk to the health or safety of patients or service users, health and social care staff whose activities are critical to the ongoing provision of care - and who have been identified as a contact of a case of COVID-19 - may be able to attend work rather than self-isolate if they are fully vaccinated (more than 14 days after the second dose).
  • These staff members should only attend work after having a negative PCR test and daily negative LFD antigen tests. This must only occur in exceptional circumstances and where additional safety measures can be upheld. The decision must also be subject to a practice risk assessment process which should involve “the senior clinical leadership, commissioner and local Director of Public Health”.
  • This does not apply to cases where the COVID contact is a member of the staff member’s household.
  • Any staff who return to work following these risk assessments must adhere to legal isolation requirements at all other times, ie. when not at (or travelling to) work.

Members should also note that the guidance gives employers the right to allow staff to return to work, but not the right to compel them to return to work.





Chris Morris elected to BDA Board


Chris Morris has been elected to the BDA’s Board (known as the Principal Executive Committee) in the 2021 by-election for the vacant UK-wide seat.


Chris first qualified as a dental surgeon, and practised dentistry in the UK and overseas for ten years before training as a solicitor, becoming a partner at Hempsons, a national healthcare law firm, where he specialised in defending dentists.


He has served as legal adviser to the British Dental Journal for twenty years, and as President of the Dental Law and Ethics Forum since 2000. His term of office will run until 31 December 2023.