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Updates from week commencing 31 January 2022

Read all the updates that took place throughout this week.

Friday 4 February 2022



England: Get your MP to speak up for dentistry


We've helped secure a major debate on access to NHS dentistry in Parliament on 10 February.


We're now asking all dentists working in GDS in England to write to their MP now to highlight the issues dentists are facing, and the impact on their patients. It just takes five minutes. You can find the email details of your MP here.


Five things to consider: 


Your story can be powerful. Show how the crisis this service now faces is impacting on your practice and the patients you treat: 


  1. We face an access crisis. Over 38 million appointments have been lost since lockdown, and oral health inequality is set to widen. Explain what you're seeing, and how you are struggling to deal with an unprecedented backlog. 
  2. Dentistry is hanging by a thread. An exodus is in motion. Morale is at an all-time low and many dedicated NHS colleagues are now looking to the exit. 
  3. We need real reform. Dentists are working to a contract that punishes colleagues – 12 years after it was promised, we need to finally see a contract that recognises and rewards commitment and prevention. 
  4. We can't rebuild the service on an ever-shrinking budget. The government has just offered £50 million in time-limited funding. This is no more than a sticking plaster. After a decade of savage cuts, we need fair funding to underpin a new system.  
  5. Get them to take action. Ask your MP to commit to attend and speak up about this in Parliament on 10 February at 13.30.

When emailing your MP you must include your postcode, and please copy in so we can follow this up with them on your behalf.


Please do also get in touch through if you need any advice, guidance, or data on your local area.

We will continue to keep up the pressure in Parliament and the press.



Do you know the advice on PAT testing? 


We recommend portable appliance testing (PAT) should be carried out every three years by a competent person. Alongside this, visual checks should be undertaken regularly, and formal visual inspections of all portable electric appliances should be undertaken yearly by a competent member of the team.


To help with this Good Practice have created an advice sheet and log for their members to use to record these annual inspections. (BDA log-in required).


Library: 50 hours of verifiable CPD with our eBook quizzes

Members can now earn up to 50 hours of CPD through our eBooks CPD quizzes.

Our collection of eBooks cover a broad range of dental subjects, encouraging wider thinking and keeping knowledge current. Popular titles include, Cawson's Essentials of oral pathology and oral medicine, Paediatric dentistry, Pickard's Guide to minimally invasive operative dentistry, Infection control in primary dental care and more.

Five new titles have recently been added to the collection:

  • Fixed orthodontic appliances: a practical guide [BDJ Clinician's Guide]
  • Periodontology (4th edition) [BDJ Clinician's Guide]
  • Textbook of oral cancer - prevention, diagnosis and management
  • Risk assessment in oral health - a concise guide for clinical application
  • Practical procedures in the management of tooth wear.

Each title is provided with 20 multiple choice questions worth 2 hours CPD, allowing you to earn up to 50 hours CPD on completion.

Thursday 3 February 2022


Associates: Helping you plan for maternity leave

James Goldman, Associate Director of Advisory Services, shares what you need to know about maternity and parental leave as a self-employed associate in his recent blog.

Planning for maternity and parental leave can be complex and stressful, that's why it's important to be aware of your contractual obligations and start any discussions with your practice early on:

"It usually suits both parties better to agree that the practice takes care of locum arrangements. This allows the practice to have control over who joins their workplace, and enables the associate to take maternity leave without having to worry about the locum. However, it is not always so straightforward and practice owners can always invoke the locum clause."


Wales: BDJ study highlights the impact of COVID-19 on mental health


A study of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of dentists in Wales revealed the high stress levels and difficult working conditions faced by Welsh dentists.


Some of the findings include:


  • 82% of respondents said stress levels in the dental team have increased noticeably
  • Three-quarters of respondents have gone to work despite not feeling mentally well enough
  • During the pandemic, the percentage of calls for counselling increased by 575% 
  • Of those respondents who worked in a practice, 43%, reported they were 'extremely stressed' about their practice's finances.

This paints a highly concerning picture. If changes to improve the working conditions of dentists are not made imminently, we could see large scale burnout in the very near future. 


Your wellbeing and Time to Talk Day

Today is Time to Talk Day organised by mental health charities, Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, to encourage people to start conversations about mental health, and help end mental health stigma and discrimination.

Talking about mental health can help create supportive communities where we can talk openly and feel empowered to seek help when we need it.

If you're interested in taking part in Time to Talk Day, you may find the following useful:

Members, who would like to talk, are also encouraged to access Health Assured, our comprehensive confidential service designed to help you deal with personal and professional problems.

Wednesday 2 February 2022


Survey: Dental tourism - an upward trend? 

We are working with the BBC to understand the scale and impact of dental tourism. We know dentists and their teams are facing unprecedented challenges delivering patient care, and we want to understand the potential burdens of treatment for dental problems arising from treatment overseas.

We are seeking feedback from dentists across the UK. Please complete this three-minute survey to share your views.


England: Levelling up dentistry? 

Today the government has launched its flagship 'Levelling Up' plan, with a stated ambition to correct 'gross disparities' in health across England. We are yet to see what this will mean for dentistry, but the government has pledged to deliver a White Paper on health disparities later this year. 

Secretary of State Michael Gove, who is heading up this work, says 'Levelling Up' means "calling time on the postcode lottery." 

We know that millions struggled to access dental care pre-pandemic. And now numbers have gone into overdrive. 

We urge members to write to their MPs, so we can ensure these principles are applied to dentistry.


BDA Good Practice: our quality assurance scheme

Do you own or work for a dental practice operating in the United Kingdom and want to learn more about BDA Good Practice?


Our quality assurance scheme allows its members to communicate to patients an ongoing commitment to working to standards of good practice on professional and legal responsibilities. Members have access to advice and practice resources, exclusive courses to help grow a confident team, marketing materials to promote your practice, templates to help you engage with your patient base and to obtain positive reviews and much more. 


Subscribe to our mailing list, to learn more about the scheme or contact and someone from the team will get in touch. 

Tuesday 1 February 2022


Infection Prevention and Control: Two-day conference – Birmingham

In 2020 NHSE/I rolled out their vision of the NHS Long Term Plan for Infection Prevention and Control, with strong themes around AMR and Gram-Negative bloodstream infections. Throughout 2020, and much of 2021, we saw the biggest global pandemic in recent history, COVID-19. Themes for this national meeting will therefore include amongst others, outbreak management, improving hand hygiene (and auditing procedures), and decontamination/cleaning protocols, as well as a focus on reducing the contribution of dental antibiotics to antimicrobial resistance.

The Infection Prevention & Control conference will take place from 26-27 April 2022 in the National Conference Centre in Birmingham. Admission is free for NHS staff but there is a fee for cancelling less than 48 hours in advance.


Resources for patients: Fizz Free February


We have been leading calls for radical action by government to lower the nation's sugar intake, with measures ranging from sales taxes to restricting junk food advertising and improving food and drink labelling, to help prevent tooth decay and other diet-related disease.


This month we are supporting Fizz Free February, which encourages people to reduce their sugar intake by cutting out fizzy drinks. The 2022 campaign focuses on energy drinks and pressing the government to honour its commitment to ban sales to under-16s, after a long delay.

If you would like to support your patients to take part in Fizz Free February, here are some useful resources:



England: Do not serve notice to staff affected by mandatory vaccination regulations

Yesterday, the Government announced that the legislation requiring mandatory vaccinations for healthcare workers is being reconsidered. A consultation is being opened on ending mandatory vaccination as a condition of employment, which was due to come in to force from 1 April 2022.

We are aware that, based on the guidance already issued to the service, you will have begun to prepare for formal meetings with unvaccinated staff on their deployment. Following this change in Government policy, we advise that employers do not serve notice of termination to employees affected by these regulations.

A letter template is available to Expert members for communicating this change with dental staff/revoking notice already given: 

The Government's decision is subject to parliamentary approval and will require a vote to be passed into legislation. We will keep you updated.

Monday 31 January 2022


Scotland: Extended PPE and consultation deadline

The Scottish Government confirmed in December that they will continue to fund provision of PPE for NHS dentistry until March 2023. The Government previously committed to provide PPE until the end of March 2022 and Ministers agreed to extend the current arrangements for up to a further year, subject to current guidance still being in place. National Services Scotland (NSS) will keep PPE arrangements under review throughout the year, with a view to introducing lasting arrangements that align with longer-term post-pandemic plans.

The Government is now working to ensure Scotland is fully prepared for any future pandemic situation through the PPE Futures Programme and is looking for your feedback on PPE provision. The consultation seeks views on the lessons that should be learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the proposed new strategic arrangements for pandemic PPE supply in Scotland, specifically public sector collaboration on PPE supply, future stockpiling arrangements, and how they can support private and third sector organisations in the event of a future pandemic.

The consultation will be open until 22 March with an aim to have a clear strategy in place by the end of March 2022, and an implementation plan prepared, with practical implementation to begin in due course.



BDJ: How does menopause affect the dental workforce?


The latest issue of the British Dental Journal shines a light on significant failings in care for women experiencing the menopause in the workplace. Within dentistry, not only are 76.9% of the dental team women, but 35% of dental care professionals (DCPs) and 43% of dentists are currently within the age range that can be affected by menopause – a large proportion of the dental workforce.


Our survey found a strong pattern of highly experienced women leaving general practice partnerships, ending their positions as clinical leaders and directors, and leaving medicine early because they were struggling to cope with menopause symptoms with no support from management or peers. 


The BDJ article covers how we can support members of the dental team going through the menopause, including reasonable adjustments to the workplace environment and creating an open and transparent space for discussions. 


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.