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Updates from week commencing 18 April 2022

Read all the updates that took place throughout this week.

Friday 22 April 2022


What does your BDA membership give you?


Our Corporate Prospectus has been updated and is full of useful information. Inside, you can find out everything you need to know about membership and the benefits you have access to as an Essential, Extra, or Expert member.

It also includes information on BDA Indemnity and bios for each member of our indemnity team, so you can meet our team of dento-legal advisors who are here to support you when you need them.

If you would like to become a member, you can find all the information you need to know in our new prospectus, on our website, or by calling us on 020 7563 4550. 


Advice: one-to-one advice available for Extra and Expert members 

Did you know, if you're an Extra or Expert member you have access to unlimited one-to-one advice via phone or email from our team of experienced advisors?

With more than 70 years of advising dentists, our advisors are experts in the laws, contracts, and regulations of dentistry. If you're facing complex issues, we will pair you with an advisor who will handle your advice on a one-to-one basis. 

Expert membership also gives you and your team all the policies, templates, and checklists you need to manage a safe, efficient and compliant practice.

For more information on one-to-one advice, contact our Practice support team on 020 7563 4574 or email:

Not a member? Join today.

Thursday 21 April 2022


England: Answers on NHS contract

NHS England have confirmed a review at year-end will decide whether quarter one 2022/23 will be treated as a stand-alone period, or the full year of performance will be used to allow practices to make up delivery across the rest of the year. The approach will be decided on the basis of which is more helpful to the practice. If treating Q1 separately is advantageous to the practice, income protection for that period will be received at 95%, the variable cost adjustment of 12.75% will be applied, and no activity will be carried forward.

If this isn’t the case and it is not favourable for the practice to treat Q1 as a separate period, the calculation of performance will be based on a whole year and no separate arrangements will apply. If you receive income protection you will be reminded to complete the Workforce Data Collection form and Year-End Declaration. 

Orthodontists who have delivered more than 100% of activity may carry forward a maximum of 2% applying to years 2021/22 and 2022/23.

In relation to the exceptional circumstances provisions applied in the previous financial year, NHS England have confirmed that these will not be extended into Q1. NHS England confirmed that any relevant lost activity due to a staff member testing positive for covid that impacted on a practice’s ability to deliver to the NHS contract will be awarded based on sessions that were unable to be completed during 1 December 2021 to 31 March 2022.


England: NHS to include FD activity

NHS England has announced that Foundation Dentist activity will count towards UDA activity in quarter one. This is welcome news and something we have been asking for. 


New IPC guidance conflicts with dental appendix

We are seeking clarity on conflicting information following a letter released by NHS England about revised UK IPC guidance. The letter states that the UK-wide dental appendix has been updated, however it still includes irrelevant covid screening questions about travel and isolation when this is no longer a legal requirement.

The appendix also includes conflicting information on physical distancing guidance. The letter states that the UK Health Service Agency support a return to pre-pandemic physical distancing in health care settings, however the dental appendix still reiterates social distancing guidance of at least one metre.

We are currently seeking clarity on the guidance and will keep you updated.


Stress Awareness Month: CPD on mental health in the workplace

Mental health conditions within dental teams are common, particularly during the pandemic where staff have faced increased levels of stress. The stigma attached to mental health continues in many modern workplaces, and a lot of people are unaware of how to tackle it.

Our Mental Health in the Workplace course provides 3 hours of verifiable CPD and sets out the practical ways to create a supportive and compassionate environment for dental teams to support each other's mental health.

By completing the course, you will be equipped to understand the impact of mental health in the workplace and recognise the need to tackle stigma. You will also be able to spot the warning signs that a colleague is struggling so that you can offer them support at an early stage.

Wednesday 20 April 2022


Scotland: Contract negotiations needed to fix broken system

We have been waiting on meaningful contract reform negotiations in Scotland for 10 years now. We are calling on the Government to take long overdue action to address the serious issues facing NHS dentistry.

"Although there is a sense of returning to normality, we are not out the other side of the pandemic and can wait no longer. Without agreed reform we cannot effectively plan our dental business model and are left sinking in a swamp of last-minute guidance and changes."

Later this month when we attend the Scottish LDC Conference in Stirling, we will be making it clear that we need an interim model of remuneration that works for everyone and keeps dentistry in the NHS.


England: MPs keep up the pressure on contract reform 

At yesterday's oral health questions in the House of Commons dentistry was a key focus, with eight MPs from across the House challenging the Minister on the crisis in NHS dental services. 


The Father of the House Sir Peter Bottomley MP stressed the only way to address issues with access is for dentists to be properly rewarded for the work they do. "Dentists and patients would be grateful for a change in the contract" he concluded. DUP health spokesman Jim Shannon MP echoed his calls for improving the way dentists get paid, saying it was necessary "to stop the haemorrhaging of NHS dentistry provision". 


Shadow Health Minister Feryal Clark MP urged the Government to reform the contract. They questioned "when will this Government, who have had 12 years to do so, finally come up with some practical solutions that put patients' needs first, rather than the half-baked, unworkable ideas we have heard to date?" The Minister Maria Caulfield MP assured MPs work on contract reform was underway and she would be announcing some short-term contractual changes shortly. 


We continue to work across Parliament to keep dentistry at the top of the agenda and keep up the pressure on the Government to deliver the necessary change our members need.  


Scotland: Guidance issued on funding to improve dental equipment


Last week the Scottish Government issued guidance for practices that expressed an interest in the funding for ventilation improvements. This outlines the application process.


Practices can claim costs for the purchase, renewal or repair of the following:

  • Dental Chair
  • Dental Operating Light
  • Cuspidor/Spittoon
  • Dental Suction
  • Dental Compressor
  • Dental X-ray Unit.

Practices can request additional items at the discretion of their NHS Board. A practice can claim up to a maximum allowance payment of £2,500 per individual surgery. The amount allocated will be pro-rata, based on a practice's NHS commitment percentage. As a condition of the payment, all contractors within a practice need to continue to provide general dental services until 1 April 2024.


NHS Boards will provide instruction to practices on their local process for making a claim. Applications must be received by 30 June 2022.

Tuesday 19 April 2022


Northern Ireland: Make your voice heard

In a matter of weeks, Northern Ireland goes to the polls. The next Assembly has a responsibility to rebuild and reform HS dentistry in Northern Ireland. You can ensure the candidates understand the scale of the crisis facing this service.

Underfunded and overstretched, we cannot go on as we are. This profession and our patients deserve better. Our manifesto has three key asks:

  1. Firm Foundations: the necessary resources in place to underpin the recovery, and parallel development of a new GDS Contract
  2. A Sustainable Workforce: develop a Dental Workforce Strategy that's fit for the future, so NI has the dentists it needs
  3. Action on Inequalities: invest to save with an ambitious Oral Health Strategy to deliver better oral health for all. 

Make sure your next MLAs know the facts about what you're seeing on the frontline. Please share your story. It only takes 5 minutes, just enter your postcode



Hospital dentistry: Issues facing SAS grade dentists 


In a recent blog John Ho-A-Yun, BDA SAS representative in Scotland, has outlined the issues facing SAS grade dentists across the UK. From new contracts to a lack of funding for career development, John outlines what we are doing on your behalf. 

"The window of opportunity to express interest in transferring to the new SAS contracts has been extended in England, Northern Ireland and Wales. So far, there have only been low numbers of contractual transfers and disappointment at the lack of career progression to the "specialist" grade.

"In Scotland, staff side negotiations [on contracts] are being carried out by the BMA. I sit on the SAS Negotiations Reference Group which informs the negotiating committee directly."


Stress Awareness Month: Supporting you

Almost half of dentists say that stress in their job is exceeding their ability to cope. We have surveyed over 2,000 dentists across the UK and found high levels of stress and burnout. Almost a fifth of those we surveyed admitted they had seriously considered suicide due to stress.

We have compiled a list of the resources and services available to support you if you are experiencing stress or struggling with your mental health. No matter where you work in the UK, whether you’re in NHS, mixed or private practice – there is a service ready to support you.