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Updates from week commencing 29 August 2022

Read all the updates that took place throughout this week.

Friday 2 September 2022



BDJ: Eco conscious dentistry


The BDJ Eco Focus Issue explores attitudes towards sustainable dentistry, including the ways in which COVID-19 has impacted planetary health and the environmental impact of community caries prevention schemes.


Articles include:





Does your practice have a menopause policy?


The majority of the dental workforce will be directly affected by menopause. To help you support members of the dental team going through these changes, we've put together a new menopause and perimenopause policy .


The aim of this new policy is to assist with creating an open and honest workplace, where any issues associated with the perimenopause and menopause can be discussed and the necessary support offered.


You may also be interested in the BDJ's collection of articles which focus on the impact of the menopause on mental health, creating a menopause-friendly workplace and supporting employees experiencing menopausal symptoms.



Thursday 1 September 2022



Northern Ireland: Resumption of Referral Dental Services (RDS)


The Department of Health has confirmed that RDS post-treatment reviews which were paused during the COVID-19 pandemic, will resume from September.


Reviews will initially take the form of post-treatment records reviews only, without patient exams. The possibility of resuming post-treatment patient exams will be monitored on an ongoing basis.


RDS Monitoring Protocols have been updated and are available to view on the Business Services Organisation website.





Northern Ireland: COVID-19 Autumn Booster Vaccination Programme

The Department of Health has issued an MD outlining arrangements for the roll out of the COVID-19 autumn booster vaccination programme. Trust employed frontline health and social care workers will be invited to book a vaccination at a Trust site shortly. Non-Trust employed frontline health and social care workers (including dentists) will be eligible to receive a booster vaccination via a Trust run clinic or local community pharmacy.


Frontline HSC workers, including those working in the Independent Sector are being encouraged to take up the offer of vaccination as soon as possible to help protect their families, themselves, and vulnerable patients.


A separate MDS providing information on the 22/23 flu vaccination programme has also been issued. Community pharmacies will offer the vaccine to frontline HSC workers beginning 19 September.





Northern Ireland: Government must respond to GDS challenges


We have been focussing on soaring expenses and the growing disconnection between SDR fees and the actual cost to deliver Health Service dentistry.


In his latest blog Tristen Kelso, BDA Northern Ireland Director, explores the issues: "While COVID put the GDS on an emergency footing, this next phase of emerging from the pandemic is no less significant, particularly as the profession grapples with new threats from double-digit inflation. Already, we have an SDR which bears little correlation with financial realities at practice-level, and we've made the case for additional investment."


We will keep you updated as we fight for the future of HS dentistry and an adequate response from government to the challenges facing the service in the coming weeks and months.



Wednesday 31 August 2022



England: Pausing of routine LFDs


The Government have announced that from today, the majority of asymptomatic staff and patient testing will pause.


Testing with an LFD at home will continue for symptomatic NHS staff and symptomatic staff in NHS-commissioned independent healthcare providers (including return to work testing). This means that practices do not need to test staff twice a week any longer.


This new guidance overrides the existing testing guidance and will be kept under review by NHS England and UKHSA. Further information on managing healthcare staff with symptoms of a respiratory infection is available to support you.





Scotland: Working for PDS dentists


We have written to the Chief Dental Officer Scotland, Tom Ferris, seeking a meeting to discuss Public Dental Service (PDS) issues.


Firstly, we're looking for an extended competency point to be added to PDS contracts in Scotland. This appears in the English and Welsh Community Dental Service contracts, but not in either the corresponding Scottish or Northern Ireland contracts. The extended competency point allows dentists to undertake additional duties agreed at appraisal. It means dentists at the top of their individual payscales can earn more money for carrying out these duties.


We're also asking for a training allowance for PDS dentists. Scotland is the only country in the UK which does not currently have this allowance. Clearly this needs to change, giving a training allowance to PDS dentists which will assist them in up-skilling and may help promote job satisfaction. We have previously raised this issue with the Scottish Government and were told that adequate training was provided by NHS Education Scotland. This is no longer the case, and there is no national agreement to fund PDS training.





Survey: The future of the GDS in Wales


We are asking all dentists working in General Dentistry in Wales to share your views and experiences of the service via our survey.


Your responses will help inform ongoing consultations with the Welsh Government about GDS reform and help us to continue to ensure your voice is heard. All responses will be anonymous.


You do not have to be a BDA member to take part in this survey.



Tuesday 30 August 2022



Northern Ireland: Rebuilding Support Scheme (RSS) applications open

The Business Services Organisation (BSO) are now accepting applications for the September 2022 RSS payment. Information must be submitted electronically, or it will not be accepted.

You must apply for the September 2022 payment by 17:00 on Thursday 8 September, the BSO will not be accepting or processing any applications after the deadline and payments will not be made.

You do not need a Cryptocard or access to the BSO secure portal to complete your application and it can be done securely via desktop or mobile devices. You can access more information and support on the BSO website.





England: How will NHS contractual changes impact you?


We are holding an evening webinar and a training day in London in September to help you understand how NHS contractual changes will impact you and your practice.


Evening webinar: NHS contractual changes on Thursday 1 September (19:30 - 20:30)

Members can attend for free. Tickets cost £50 for non-members. 


Day-long training session in London: NHS Dentistry on Friday 30 September  

Tickets cost £150 for members and £200 for non-members.


The sessions will be followed by a chance to ask questions at the end, we encourage members and non-members to register now and secure a space.