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Updates from week commencing 7 March 2022

Read all the updates that took place throughout this week.

Friday 11 March


British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show 2022

The British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show  (BDCDS) returns on 13 - 14 May 2022 at NEC, Birmingham. 

With 200+ world-class speakers, 400+ industry leading exhibitors, and 250 hours of enhanced CPD, there's something for the whole dental team. 

Secure a free pass for yourself and your colleagues now.


Northern Ireland: Rebuilding Support Scheme FAQs

The Department of Health has published an FAQs guide relating to the newly announced Rebuilding Support Scheme that will replace the Financial Support Scheme from 8 April.

We believe the support available under the Rebuilding Support Scheme is inadequate, and as such we have not endorsed these proposals. 


UMAX 2022: Undergraduate oral and maxillofacial surgery conference

This year, we'll be exhibiting at The Royal Society of Medicine UMAX 2022 conference on Saturday 23 April 2022, 8:30am to 4:30pm

The conference showcases Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery as a speciality and as a postgraduate career choice, bringing together aspiring surgeons, trainees and senior consultants for interactive lectures, hands-on workshops, problem-based learning, virtual reality simulation and networking.

If you're interested in attending, you can register now.

Thursday 10 March 2022


Wales: Tell us your views on the new NHS contracts proposed

As you may know, the Welsh Government have put forward their offer for a variation to the NHS General Dental Contract. These changes would mean that GDS Practices with an NHS contract can either opt for the new volumetrics, or revert to the UDA-only option for 2022-23.

We worked around the clock to negotiate terms with the Welsh Government but their consultation period was truncated. However, Welsh General Dental Practice Committee members continue to consult with their constituents and want to hear from all GDS dentists working in Wales, also dentists in training and students. We have created a rapid survey to understand your views on this offer.

The survey is anonymous and takes 5 minutes to complete. All responses must be submitted by 17:00 Monday 14 March. Please complete the survey and share the survey link with your colleagues. You do not need to be a member to take part.


Major Government defeat on dental age checks

This week the Government suffered a heavy defeat in the House of Lords on the issue of dental age checks. We were glad to see Peers vote with a majority of 70 to pass an amendment we've lobbied for, which strengthens the safeguards around the use of scientific methods of estimating age of undocumented migrants.

We have vigorously opposed Home Office's plans to use dental X-rays to determine whether asylum seekers have reached the age of 18, stressing they are an inaccurate and unethical method for assessing age. Part 4 of the Nationality and Borders Bill gives the Home Secretary the power to define what scientific methods of age assessment could be used in migration cases in subsequent regulations.

We drafted a series of amendments on this issue for the Bill's Committee Stage, which would curb the use of so-called scientific methods of age assessment. Our amendments, tabled by Baroness Lister of Burtersett, were supported by Labour, Lib Dem, Green parties, as well as a number of crossbench Peers.


Join now: Vacancies available in the Dental Advisory Group

The Dental Advisory group are looking for applicants from across the UK to fill vacancies for a General Dental Practitioner, a Paediatric Dentist, and a salaried Primary Care Dentist. The group play an important role in dentistry, providing advice on the list of medicines dentists can prescribe in the UK.

If you are interested in finding out more, further details can be found on the Royal Pharmaceutical Society's career page. The closing date for applications is Monday 28 March.

Wednesday 9 March 2022


Five days to go: Nominate yourself for the 2022 by-elections

Nominations for the 2022 BDA by-elections close in five days. This is your chance to come forward and make your voice heard for the future of dentistry. We're looking for people to apply to a wide range of committees, so check out which one might be right for you

Seats on the country councils for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are among those open. Many of the crafts committees are also looking for new members. Consider joining today, as our committees are key to ensuring that your voice is heard by Governments across the UK. 

If you are interested in influencing positive change for dentists and dentistry, we encourage you to nominate yourself for the relevant seat. Nominations close midday Monday 14 March.


Scotland: New Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme 

The Disclosure (Scotland) Act received Royal Assent in July 2020 and looks to be implemented in 2024. The aim of the new law is to make the disclosure process in Scotland simpler and easier to understand and to keep vulnerable groups safer. 

The Act will reduce the number of disclosure levels and Disclosure Scotland will have new powers to impose conditions on individuals while they are being considered for listing. Applicants will be able to request a review of certain disclosure content from an independent reviewer.

The impact for dental practices at this stage looks to be minimal. One significant change however will be that lifetime Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme membership will end and be replaced with a five-year membership period. Therefore, a practice owner will need to check their staff's PVG membership status every five years. 

Tuesday 8 March 2022


Scotland: FAQ on revised funding arrangements from 1 April

Following our advice to the Scottish Government that the recent PCA and new payment arrangements from 1 April could attract a number of queries, we are pleased that our suggestion for an FAQ document has been taken on board and that the Scottish Government have produced an initial document to help the profession adapt to the changes.

We are reviewing the document and will submit relevant member feedback or suggestions for additions to the FAQ to the Scottish Government for consideration. The Government have advised this will be a dynamic document that will be updated as and when required. A copy can also be accessed on the Scottish Dental website


From the archives: On International Women's Day

Lilian Lindsay forged a hugely successful portfolio career and became our first female president. To mark International Women's Day, we are celebrating the first female to qualify as a dentist in the UK in 1895.

A tenacious woman, ahead of her time, she fought hard to be accepted into dental school. Working in a male-dominated profession she faced many barriers throughout her impressive career.

The head of our museum, Rachel Bairsto, explores Lilian's pioneering and inspiring life in our latest blog and reflects on how women are continuing to drive the profession forward today.


England: NHS dentistry £50m funding boost myth buster

Many of you have sent in questions around eligibility for the extra £50million in funding announced by NHS England in January to provide additional urgent care for NHS patients.

We've raised your questions with NHS England and they've put together this myth buster and general Q&As to address some of your questions. 

This funding is only available until the end of March 2022 and cannot be accrued into the 2022/2023 contract year. We hope this Q&A clears up any confusion and encourages anybody eligible to take this important opportunity on behalf of their patients.


Northern Ireland: Fears for future of Health Service dentistry

We are deeply disappointed at the outcome of talks with the Department of Health and Social Care. The new GDS funding arrangements announced last night are totally inadequate and will do little to rebuild the shattered service.

A new Rebuilding Support Scheme will see a 25% enhancement apply to dental fees, as the Financial Support Scheme to mitigate the impact of COVID on dental practices is wound up from April. This represents a downgraded offer from a 35% increase that had previously been put forward, owing to budget uncertainties. It is also in stark contrast to the initial 70% enhancement that has been introduced in Scotland.

Ciara Gallagher, Chair of the Northern Ireland Dental Practice Committee (NIDPC) has made our position clear: "This scheme is such that we simply cannot stand over it or support it – our members expect and deserve more. Our warnings to the Department have been clear in recent months – yet we feel strongly that our words have fallen on deaf ears." 

Monday 7 March 2022


Scotland: £5 million Dental Sustainability Funding for NHS Practices

The Scottish Government has written to the profession to outline details of the £5 million dental sustainability funding that has been allocated to NHS practices to provide additional support as the sector moves from Covid financial emergency support payments from 1 April 2022.


The one-off sustainability payment will be paid to qualifying NHS practices to help meet the costs of a Legionella Risk Assessment (LRA), and for example, to provide additional NHS hygienist and nurse sessions. After raising concerns with the Scottish Government, we are pleased that funding for ventilation and electric speed adjusting (red band) handpieces has also been extended to help cover the maintenance costs of equipment that has been damaged due to additional cleaning because of increased Covid-19 protocols.


The payment will apply to all existing NHS practices, with a 2019/2020 baseline and currently in receipt of the General Dental Practice Allowance (GDPA), that have an average of at least 500 patients per dentist.





Good Practice: New fire safety advice sheet and evacuation log

Do you know your responsibilities when it comes to fire safety? Do you keep accurate records of your fire evacuation drills including any areas for improvement?

Keeping your premises, dental team, and patients safe is paramount. As part of our continued effort to provide resources to help make it easier for you to run an efficient practice, we have created a fire safety advice sheet  and fire evacuation drill log , exclusively for Good Practice members. 


Northern Ireland: Manifesto for dentistry launched at Stormont 

At a well-attended event in Stormont today, we launched our manifesto for Rebuilding and Reforming Dentistry.

It remains unclear whether Health Service dentistry can survive this pandemic. However, ahead of the Assembly Elections in May, our manifesto makes clear to all parties what is required to reform and rebuild the service. 

Our manifesto clearly outlines the problems we are facing, and most importantly, the solutions. We need:


  1. Firm foundations: We must put the necessary resources in place to underpin the recovery, and parallel development of a new General Dental Services Contract 
  2. A sustainable workforce: We must develop a dental Workforce Strategy that's fit for the future, so Northern Ireland has the dentists it needs 
  3. Action on inequalities: We need investment to save with an ambitious Oral Health Strategy to deliver better oral health for all.

Rebuilding and reforming dentistry must be prioritised, the work of our dental professionals must be valued, and investment must be made in delivering better oral health for all.  


Dental students: Share your views on student debt   


We are concerned about levels of study-related debt and the impact this has on dental students in the UK. If you are a final year dental student, we want to understand your experiences of study-related borrowing and debt, and the impact this has on you. 

Your response will shape the vital work we undertake on your behalf. The data collected will be used to inform our campaign activity to support the continuance of the NHS Bursary, campaign for better terms for student loans and help us to represent your interests more effectively.

Please complete this fifteen-minute survey to share your views.