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Updates from week commencing 22 May 2023

Read all the updates that took place throughout this week.

Tuesday 23 May 2023


Northern Ireland: Disappointment as RSS ends with final claims due 10 July

The Rebuilding Support Scheme (RSS) will cease at the end of June, a casualty of the Department of Health's budget shortfall for 2023/24. 

The Department says the decision has been taken with 'regret and reluctance,' alongside a range of difficult financial decisions being made across the health and social services sector.

In line with the Business Services Organisation payment cycle, the final claims qualifying for RSS must be received by EDI or the FPPS portal by 10 July 2023.


Scotland: Withdrawal of extended use of face masks

The Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health and Social Care and the Minister for Social Care, Mental Wellbeing and Sport have agreed to withdraw the 'Coronavirus (COVID-19): Extended use of face masks and face coverings in hospitals, primary care, and community healthcare settings' guidance. This guidance was withdrawn from 16 May 23.


In the absence of the extended use of face mask/face covering guidance, dentists have been advised to follow the infection prevention and control (IPC) guidance on the appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for standard infection control precautions and transmission based precautions as detailed in the National Infection Prevention and Control Manual.




Scotland: BDA to hold consultative vote on pay offer for Scottish trainees  

Negotiations between the BMA Scotland and the Scottish Government have led to a pay offer of 6.5% uplift for this year and an increase from 4.5% to 7.5%, backdated for 2022/23 - an aggregate uplift of 14.5% over two years. 

Both the BDA and the BMA will put the pay offer made by the Scottish Government to our relevant members in a consultative vote. Find out more.


England: PM must drop the spin and accept the facts


The government need to drop any pretence that NHS dentistry is on the road to recovery and deliver a much-needed rescue package.  


We've secured yet to be published official data which shows just 23,577 dentists performed NHS work in the 2022/23 financial year, down 695 on the previous year, and over 1,100 down on numbers pre-pandemic. 

While government repeatedly claimed dentists were coming back to the NHS off the recent reforms, this crash brings figures to levels not seen for a decade.

Ministers have pledged a 'recovery plan' but given the scale of this collapse we need ambition. 

Record-breaking underspends in the dental budget must be used to significantly increase the minimum Unit of Dental Activity value, to bring a degree of sustainability to practices on the brink. 

We are taking our message direct to Ministers. We will keep you posted. 

Monday 22 May 2023


Northern Ireland: Cuts will take a wrecking ball to NHS dentistry 

Analysis by the Department of Health suggests that cuts of over £1/4 billion can be achieved without damage to services. Officials couldn’t be more wrong. 

The document claims: "With a sustained effort across the HSC system, it is anticipated savings and efficiencies can yield in the region of £260 million." It adds: "While savings at this scale cannot be made without some impact, our analysis suggests measures up to this value can be delivered without long-term or irrevocable damage to services."
The Rebuilding Support Scheme (RSS) will now be cut at the end of the first quarter in 2023/24.  Meanwhile, the DoH Budget Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) also warns that as things currently stand, it will not be possible to offer a pay award in 2023/24, further undermining a service with chronic recruitment and retention problems.

As we’re pressing our members to write to their MLA, these cuts will have consequences.