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Updates from week commencing 18 July 2022

Read all the updates that took place throughout this week.

Friday 22 July 2022


England: Everyone to have a say on future water fluoridation schemes

The Government has decided that the whole population should have a voice on water fluoridation proposals following a consultation on future arrangements for consulting the public before new schemes can be introduced.


We had argued that beyond national bodies with an interest or expertise in water fluoridation, only individuals directly impacted by the introduction of the scheme – who live or work in the area covered – should be included in the consultation. The Government, however, having considered all the responses they received on this issue decided that the whole population should have a voice, not just those who are directly affected.


The response follows a shift brought forward by the Health and Care Act 2022, which moves the responsibility for water fluoridation arrangements from local authorities to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. Regulations on this issue will be considered by Parliament after it returns from the summer recess and we will keep you updated.





NHS Dentists demand lifeline as 'dental inflation' soars


Today we're calling on all four UK governments to provide real support to NHS dentists to withstand the impact of  'dental inflation', which now stands at over 11%. 


We've looked at data from official sources and our own surveys, and it reveals the huge inflationary pressures that dentists are now facing, with lab bills increasing on average by 15% and nearly one-fifth of dentists seeing their utility bills rise by more than 50%.

Following the real-term pay cuts announced this week, we are demanding that all UK health departments ensure that uplifts on expenses – anticipated shortly – at least keep pace with inflation, to ensure dentists are not left delivering NHS care at a financial loss.


Clearly, failure to keep pace with rising costs will have real consequences for practices as they struggle to deliver care and recruit and retain dentists and staff.   





Wales: Hopes for meaningful answers from consultation

We welcome the announcement that the Senedd Health and Social Care Committee will be conducting a consultation on NHS dentistry over the summer, followed by an inquiry in the autumn and hope this will bring much needed answers on the future of dentistry.


The scope of the consultation is wide ranging and while we welcome the progress and efforts to address long-term contract reform, this does not fix all the challenges currently being experienced in dentistry.


We will be attending an oral evidence session in October to follow up on these important issues. In the meantime, please check your inbox as we will be sending you further surveys throughout the process. In this pivotal year for NHS dentistry, please make sure your voice is heard.



Thursday 21 July 2022


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.β€―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).





Armed forces pay award absurd and unjust


In a joint statement British Medical Association Armed Forces Committee Chair Col Mark Weir and British Dental Association Armed Forces Committee Chair Surgeon-Captain Mike Gall have condemned the absurd and unjust recommendations of the Armed Forces' Pay Review Body:


"The AFPRB's recommendation for a 3.75% pay increase in the face of run-away inflation and over a decade of pay erosion is, once again, a recommendation for a real-terms pay cut. The government knows this to be true."


Military doctors and dentists provide a vital service to the country, and this pay offer will leave many wondering whether they wish to continue serving, with all its sacrifices.



Wednesday 20 July 2022



England: Fundamental flaws not addressed by marginal changes


Recent changes to the NHS contract announced by government do not even begin to address the fundamental flaws in the system. Claims from NHS England that patients and the country will benefit from improvements have been shot down across the media today.


Shawn Charlwood, General Dental Practice Committee Chair has spoken about the changes not being enough to fix the rotten foundations of the service: "If government considers this a final destination, then it will mean the death of NHS dentistry in England."


We have real concerns about the funding and future of NHS dentistry. We will provide you with all the advice you need as more details become clear. In the meantime, we will continue to press for fair funding and real reform on your behalf.





Northern Ireland: Working together to deliver more

The Local Dental Committees (LDCs) and Northern Ireland Dental Practice Committee (NIDPC) worked closely together during the pandemic to get the word out on rapid changes and deliver positive benefits for dentists.


Lisa Hanna, Chair of the Northern LDC, explains how technology opened new avenues of communication during the pandemic: "The difficult working landscape made us realise that we do need each other, which led to colleagues reaching out to support each other more."


The LDCs and NIDPC will continue to work closely together in the future. There has never been a more challenging time in dentistry across Northern Ireland, which is why working together is more important than ever.





Record-breaking cuts to real incomes will fuel exodus from NHS  


We have warned that the derisory pay uplifts offered to dentists - 4.5% - will only accelerate the workforce crisis facing NHS dentistry across the UK.


Dentists have seen their real incomes collapse by nearly 40% since the financial crash, with analysis of data from across the public sector and health professionals indicating the fall has no parallel in the UK public sector.


Peter Crooks, Deputy Chair of the BDA said: "For a decade we've seen euphemisms of 'pay restraint' and 'efficiency savings' amount to the deepest pay cuts in the public sector. [4.5%] will only serve to give dentists more reasons to reconsider their future in the NHS, and millions of patients will pay the price."

We will now canvass our membership to assess the appetite for a full range of action in response.



Tuesday 19 July 2022



Scotland: Reminder about NHS Model Survey and CDO Advisory Group


The Chief Dental Officer (CDO) has sent a reminder to the dental profession in Scotland about the survey on the possible list of treatments for inclusion in a future NHS model and the nomination process for membership of the CDO Advisory Group. The survey will be open until 31 July.


Those who are interested in being part of the Advisory Group should submit a statement of intent to their NHS Board by 31 July for consideration. Please note that dental contractors should be at least 70% NHS committed and for any members of the wider practice team their practice should be at least 70% NHS committed. The group plans to meet virtually on a fortnightly basis with meetings lasting no longer than two hours.


We have stressed that the Scottish Government needs to consider a wide range of views when discussing contractual reform, and have raised concerns that disqualifying any practice or dentist with less than 70% NHS commitment from participating in these important discussions will exclude many experienced practitioners. Many heavily NHS-committed dentists will also be unable to take part in discussions as they will be too busy delivering additional activity to compensate for the reduced multiplier that was introduced at the start of July.





Last chance to attend: Patient payment plans webinar

Tomorrow Lloyd & Whyte will deliver 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 19:30 via Zoom, register now to secure your place.





England: Modest, marginal changes to NHS contract


We have warned that changes to NHS contractual arrangements announced today do not even begin to address the system's fundamental flaws.


The package includes:

  • A minimum UDA value. The payment dentists receive for hitting a target will now be set at a minimum of Β£23.00. Only around 3% of practices will benefit, and any increase will not reverse a decade of savage cuts in the service, which can leave practices providing NHS care at a financial loss, particularly to high-needs patients.  
  • A higher reward for treating 3 or more teeth. Dentists will now receive 5 UDAs for treating 3 or more teeth, an increase on the current level of 3 UDAs which applied to any number of teeth. Given patients are now presenting requiring as many as 20 fillings, perversity will remain baked into the system, with less complex work still rewarded at the same rate as treatments that take hours.   
  • A new payment rate for complex treatment. Root canal treatment on molar teeth will now be rewarded with 7 UDAs, as opposed the current 3, as a result of our lobbying. However, it's unlikely to be a game changer, given the nature of the challenging and time-consuming treatments – which can take up to 3 hours on a single tooth.  

Following negotiations, our General Dental Practice Committee reviewed these changes, and voted to take a neutral position, neither endorsing nor rejecting the package. Our focus is on real reform, which can actually help improve access and retain talent in the NHS. 
"These are modest, marginal changes that will not fix the rotten foundations this service is built on," says GDPC chair Shawn Charlwood. "Our patients need Ministers to do more than paper over the cracks. These tweaks will do precious little to keep dentists in the NHS or ensure millions get the care they urgently need." 


We will of course be there to advise members about these contractual changes well ahead of them coming into force in the autumn. 



Monday 18 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





BDA Library: Opening hours 


The BDA library at 64 Wimpole St in London is open to visitors from 10.00 to 16.00 every Wednesday and Thursday. 


You will need to make an appointment if you wish to spend some time researching, but otherwise we would be happy to see you whenever you wish to drop by. If you would like to contact us about visiting, email or ring 020 7563 4545.


You can also access our eBook library from home and we continue to provide our usual postal loans service, although books may take longer to reach you at present.