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Updates from week commencing 6 February 2023

Read all the updates that took place throughout this week.

Friday 10 February 2023


Scotland: Looking at the year ahead

This year we are looking forward after the challenges the dental profession has faced following the pandemic. NHS dentistry in Scotland is at a crossroads. Across the UK the issues that have been developing for years have been heightened by the pandemic and the backlog of care it created.

The number of practices providing NHS dental services is in constant decline, with many practices unable to take on new NHS patients and some de-registering existing ones. Oral health inequalities have become more apparent as access to NHS dental service becomes virtually impossible in some areas.

We will continue to work on your behalf to ensure that the future of NHS dentistry and its financial stability is a priority to the Scottish Government and will continue to press for action on all issues affecting Scottish dentistry.


Wales: GDS contract reform at a crossroads

After working with the new GDS volumetrics, or the UDA-only option, for the past ten months, we have given an overview of the choices available to NHS dentists in 2023-24.

We have voiced our concerns for NHS dentistry in an open letter to the Chief Dental Officer, which remains unanswered. However, despite our insistent arguments on the unsuitability of the untested volumetric targets, many practices are still facing significant clawback.

The Health Minister's response on clawbacks showed an apparent lack of regard for the financial risks that practices are operating under. As many practices consider their options, we urge you to share your views on your future through our short survey. We are here to support you no matter which path you choose for 2023-24. 


BDJ: Dental tourism and emphysema

The latest BDJ issue explores extensive subcutaneous emphysema, e-scooter-related facial injuries, and dental tourism.


Articles include:

Thursday 9 February 2023


Toothache Day and folklore remedies 

Today is Toothache Day, serving as a reminder to the general population of the importance of dental hygiene. Historically there have been many different solutions to the painful issue.

Our collection features a wide range of historical charms and folk remedies that used to be called on to heal an aching tooth. The rituals range from transferring the pain into another object or cutting your nails on a Friday.

Some 'prescriptions' are more complex, such as taking a mouthful of salt and walking silently, without addressing anyone, towards a churchyard!

Wednesday 8 February 2023


Scotland: Without reform broken system will go from crisis to collapse


We are heartened by the depth of support from MSPs from across the political divide today, as the Scottish Parliament tackled NHS dentistry.

Scottish Lib Dem Leader Alex Cole-Hamilton tabled a motion calling on the Scottish Government to declare a 'crisis' in dentistry. Predictably, Ministers responded with an amendment removing the 'c' word.

There's no question this service faces crisis. Bridging payments have been extended, but the question now is whether come 31 October we'll see reform.

Failure here will take us from crisis to collapse. We are asking Scottish GDPs to share their views in a 5-minute survey.




Northern Ireland: BSO portal EDI issue resolved   


General Dental Practitioners in Northern Ireland will welcome the news that the technical issue within the Business Services Organisation payment system has now been resolved after practitioners received notification of problems with EDI claim submissions being made online.

The Strategic Planning and Performance Group (SPPG) have informed practitioners that unfortunately, it will be necessary to resubmit all claims made between 12:01am on 1 February 2023 and 5:05pm on 7 February 2023. To allow sufficient time for all relevant claims to be transmitted to BSO, the deadline for submissions has been extended to 5pm on Monday 13 February 2023. This is the latest date it is possible for BSO to receive the claims and still meet the February schedule run.

The SPPG's Michael Donaldson advises that "Before beginning the process of resubmitting claims, it is essential that you follow the advice of your software provider in relation to the steps to be taken. Failure to follow the recommended steps for your specific practice software system may result in delayed payment of claims and the need to re-input information onto your systems. We have communicated with all the software system providers that supply NI dental practices and they are aware of the importance of providing accurate advice to their clients. If you were transmitting forms in the above period and your practice uses an automated EDI feature, please be mindful that there are likely to be multiple form bundles that have failed. We would recommend that you speak to your software provider to establish the appropriate approach you should use to deal with this particular issue."


Scotland: Bridging payment extended


The Scottish Government has heeded our call and extended the NHS bridging payment to 31 October 2023.


We remain clear a sustainable model must be in place by the autumn, otherwise this will only delay the inevitable. 


A debate on the crisis in the service is set to take place in the Scottish Parliament this afternoon. A broken system requires real reform, and there can be no more kicking the can down the road.




England: Understanding NHS rules event


We're holding an interactive training course on Friday 17 March at 64 Wimpole Street, London helping associates, practice owners and practice managers gain an understanding of the grey areas in NHS regulations. We'll also explore moving your practice into a profitable mixed offer.


Join us from 09:30 – 16:30 as we cover:

  • Your obligations/ responsibilities under the NHS contract as an associate, practice owner or manager
  • The legislation behind NHS treatments and claims 
  • How legalisation is enforced relating to NHS/private boundaries and submission of forms and data 
  • How dentists are monitored by use of data derived from FP17s
  • The Dental Assurance Framework and how the NHS BSA risk manage practices, and more.

 This event will discuss arrangements for England only.

Tuesday 7 February 2023


Medical emergency posters

We have recently heard from members receiving feedback regarding old medical emergencies posters on display during routine practice inspections. The most recent version of the poster should be displayed in your practice and was updated in 2020 to include notification around sepsis issues.

Our advice section on patient care has copies of the most up to date posters for emergency drugs and medical emergencies for you to download, print and display in your practice.

Members can find posters and a wide range of other useful resources on the advice area of our website to help you be compliant with all the latest requirements ahead of any inspections and it also has useful patient information on a number of frequently asked issues.

Monday 6 February 2023


Cost of living pressure fuelling oral health crisis in schools


Today we've joined with hygiene charity Beauty Banks to launch damning new research on the impact poverty is having in classrooms across the country.


1 in 4 UK secondary school teachers surveyed report they are now handing out the basics – toothbrushes and toothpaste – to their pupils. 40% noted oral hygiene issues leading to students being socially excluded by their peers.

Cost of living pressures and ongoing access problems now represent a perfect storm for children's oral health. As one assistant head teacher in South East London told us "some students are still wearing Covid masks to hide their mouths."


We are delighted to support Beauty Banks' campaign to raise awareness of hygiene poverty and are continuing to press government to deliver urgent change in NHS dentistry.  




Webinar: Record keeping

Book your place for our upcoming webinar covering the essential do's and don'ts in record keeping. It will take place this Friday, 10 February from 09:25 - 12:30.  

This live online workshop aims to provide you with an interactive review of clinical record keeping, balancing up the time it takes to make good, comprehensive and contemporaneous notes with the practical realities of treating patients in practice.

You will find out how to implement effective processes which can be followed, with confidence, by the whole dental team.

By attending the live session and completing the post-event engagement and evaluation survey, you can qualify for 2hrs 45 mins of CPD.