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Updates from week commencing 15 May 2023

Read all the updates that took place throughout this week.

Friday 19 May 2023


Wales: Mental health after the pandemic

In the aftermath of the pandemic, we examined the impact on the mental health of dentists. The evidence is clear that stress and burnout have risen due to COVID.


We supported dentists before the pandemic and continue to support you now through the challenges of contract reform and the rising cost of living.


We aim to support you through periods of stress and burnout. All members have access to support from Health Assured, a comprehensive service designed to help manage the personal and professional issues affecting your wellbeing.


Join now. Together we are stronger.

Wednesday 17 May 2023


Court of Appeal accepts topping up NHS charges with private fees

The Court of Appeal has confirmed that "top-up" private fees in addition to band three NHS charges, were permitted by the relevant NHS regulations.

In the already contentious judgement, it was accepted that not only the mixing of NHS and private treatment is allowed, but that it is also allowed on the same tooth. It's important to note that the decision is situation specific. The Court did not rule that all kinds of 'top up fee', under any circumstance and at any level, was permitted.

NHS England needs to provide clarification on the implications, as well as confirm whether current rules still apply. Until we have greater clarity, we recommend practitioners familiarise themselves with the relevant regulations.



Tuesday 16 May 2023


England: MPs debate 'collapse of NHS dentistry' in East of England.


Fresh from scenes of hundreds of patients queuing from 4:00 outside a dental practice in Kings Lynn, MPs from across the East of England tackled the crisis in NHS dentistry.

We work cross-party, and voices from both government and opposition benches spoke up on an NHS contract that remains fundamentally broken.

The Minister stressed a recovery plan is in the works, and the government are "working at pace."


What concerns us is that we may just see more tweaks at the margins. We will continue pressing for the real reform this profession and millions of patients so urgently need.  




Handling inappropriate behaviour in the workplace

Sexual harassment in the workplace is becoming an increasingly concerning issue that can do serious damage to both individuals and practices.

It is defined as any unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature that violates a person’s dignity and creates a degrading or hostile environment. Practice owners have a duty of care to reasonably protect all employees, failure to meet this duty can lead to a serious employment contract breach and you can be held vicariously liable.

All allegations must be taken seriously. Dealing with allegations, formal and informal, can be complex. We can advise you on employment law implications on the facts of the case.


Northern Ireland: Cuts are not the answer

Last week we campaigned against further cuts to dental services. From high street to hospitals, NHS dentistry is being pushed to its limits and patients are being impacted.

We wrote a letter to the Permanent Secretary and political parties making the case for urgent investment in Health Service dentistry to ensure its future.

Write to your MLAs and ask them to speak on dentistry’s behalf at this critical time to ensure officials at the Department know the facts and the human cost that will come from pressing ahead with cuts.

Monday 15 May 2023


Scotland: A key moment for NHS dentistry

Formal discussions have now commenced between Scottish Government and the Scottish Dental Practice Committee on the future of fees. 
We will do everything in our power to secure a fair deal for members. You can play your part and share the reality facing NHS dentists on the frontline with your MSP. 
This is a key moment for the profession, and for the future of NHS dentistry in Scotland. The discussions are confidential, but we will share more information and keep you up to date when we are able to.


Mental Health Awareness Week 

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, the campaign raising awareness about mental health and tackling the stigma surrounding the conversation. This year’s theme is anxiety.

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health problems we face. Across the UK, dentistry has been under great amounts of stress, bringing further anxiety into your personal and professional lives.

We promote wellbeing and examine the causes of stress and burnout in dentistry which are critical factors for the future of the profession. Through a survey of more than 2,000 UK dentists, we found that almost a fifth (17.6%) admitted they had experienced suicidal feelings. 

Supporting you through periods of stress or burnout is an important part of what we do. In partnership with Health Assured we offer members a comprehensive support service.

If you ever feel overwhelmed please contact Lifeline on 0808 808 8000 for free 24/7 support in NI or the Samaritans on Freephone 116 123.


Kit Kat cereal shows failure of voluntary action on sugar 

Nestlé tried describing their new cereal as ‘nutritious’ with a straight face. It took a consumer backlash for them to drop the claim from a product that is one quarter sugar. 

Now we’ve joined with partners from Diabetes UK to the British Heart Foundation, to press government to step up the fight.
Measures like the sugar levy forced the hand of the food industry. More than 45,000 tonnes of sugar have been removed from soft drinks in the UK following the tax’s introduction in 2018, as companies chose to reformulate to avoid exposure. 

This launch shows that voluntary action from Big Food has largely failed. We need more from government.