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Updates from week commencing 8 August 2022

Read all the updates that took place throughout this week.

Friday 12 August 2022


UK: The impact of high inflation on NHS Pensions

Recent high levels of inflation may have a significant impact on your pension tax charges in the tax year 2022/23.

NHS Employers have published an indicative Ready Reckoner tool that can help individuals get an estimate of their Pension Growth over the 22/23 tax year, and thereby the likelihood of an Annual Allowance tax charge. It is targeted at healthcare workers in England and Wales, however the calculations and information would appear to apply equally to Scotland and Northern Ireland too.

We have reached out to the Government to outline possible solutions to this problem. We are proposing two remedies which will help avoid further levels of service diminishment, resulting from pensions tax. These changes would make legislation more appropriate for a period of variable inflation and low real earnings growth. They will not make pension tax charges disappear for everyone, but they will mitigate impacts in periods of variable inflation.  

We’ve updated our advice  and if you have further queries about the Annual Allowance, or our proposals to remedy this situation, please email Phil McEvoy. Though bear in mind that we can’t provide individual forecasts on pensions, or tax charges; and that we are not permitted to advise you on the individual financial impact of any decisions such as opting out of pension schemes, taking early retirement, or reducing NHS work.   


England: Year-end calculations

Members in England have been receiving year-end reports from NHS England in respect of the contract year 2021-2022. The calculations for distribution of UDAs across the 1st half, 3rd quarter and 4th quarter are not always simple.

We have seen issues where 'carry forward' from previous years have not been distributed as they should have been according to NHS England's own guidance. That guidance states in paragraph 6 "Carry forward of over-delivered activity will be prorated and allocated to the scheduled activity for each of the time periods. If a contractor is below the minimum threshold, then the carry forward should be distributed in a way to minimise the financial impact on practices." Please make sure you check the calculations carefully and reply in time if there are any issues.

Our spreadsheet  allows members to calculate clawback and abatement depending on the spread of UDAs and UOAs throughout the NHS contract year.

We're also aware that some contractors are likely to face difficulties repaying large sums in abatement and clawback within the standard three-month period. In these instances, we would advise that you contact your local commissioners as soon as possible to discuss options to extend the repayment period. Commissioners should have discretion to negotiate a reasonable repayment plan.

Extra and Expert members can contact us by emailing or calling 020 7935 0875.


England: NHS dentists and the Healthier Futures Action Fund

NHS dentists who are interested in making greener choices for the sake of the environment can apply for the Healthier Futures Action Fund (HFAF)

The fund supports individuals and teams within NHS organisations to kick-start innovative initiatives or ideas that will improve health and patient care, reduce inequalities, and deliver good value, while supporting a more sustainable health service.

It is open for applications between 6 July and 19 August 2022 from individuals and teams within the NHS. Find out more about the Healthier Futures Action Fund and how to apply on FutureNHS (you will need to register for a FutureNHS account to access this information).


Thursday 11 August 2022


England: NHS contractual changes 

We have events coming up to help dentists understand the NHS contractual changes and how they will impact them and their practice's. Which one best suits you? 


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 day in London: NHS Dentistry on Friday 30 September  

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


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.

Wednesday 10 August 2022


New BDA Scotland Director appointed 

Charlotte Waite will take up the role of Director of BDA Scotland in October. A dentist and experienced campaigner, Charlotte is downing her drill to take on a leading role in the fight for the future of dental services in Scotland.

Prior to the pandemic Charlotte exposed the scandal of Westminster's aggressive NHS fines regime, which saw millions of often vulnerable patients face £100 fines for attempting to claim free dental care or prescriptions. In this role, she will support members in negotiations with the Scottish Government and oversee outreach to the Scottish Parliament, officials, the press and wider stakeholders.

Asked about the challenges we face, Charlotte said: "The service is on the brink and the public are living with the results. The Scottish Government pledged free NHS dental care for all, but we now face an exodus from the workforce, the risk of a two-tier system, and a shameful oral health gap that will only widen. Our message to every MSP and every party is that this crisis will not end without real commitment. Sit down with us and we can secure a better future for a service millions depend on."


NHS dentistry left hanging by a thread

We have been working with the BBC to shine a light on the crisis facing NHS dentistry. The shocking results reveal the difficulties patients face accessing care across the UK.

Shawn Charlwood's latest blog highlights the issues: "This is a crisis being felt in every corner of the UK. BBC researchers did not reach any practices accepting new adult NHS patients in over a third of all local authorities… We've been clear, the backlogs are not just caused by Covid, but by systems that are unfit for purpose and funding that has simply not kept pace with demand or rising costs."

Urgent change is needed now, and the Government must fix NHS dentistry before we reach the point of no return. We are currently surveying dentists on these issues so please take the time to make your voice heard.


Scotland: A model for early cancer detection

Head, neck, and oral cancer is a disease of high mortality and high morbidity once at an advanced stage. Early detection is essential and leads to better patient outcomes.

Scottish dental student, Craig Smith, is developing an early detection model to help shape cancer prevention in the future: "I want the model to support and equip practitioners to help open a dialogue and start those (sometimes difficult) conversations with patients on behavioural change."

Great strides have been made in cancer awareness with high profile voices speaking out in recent years. We must continue to raise awareness and reach marginalised people in deprived areas.

Tuesday 9 August 2022



BDA Library: Opening hours 


The BDA library at 64 Wimpole St in London is open to visitors from 10.00 to 16.00 every Wednesday and Thursday. 


You will need to make an appointment if you wish to spend some time researching, but otherwise we would be happy to see you whenever you wish to drop by. If you would like to contact us about visiting, email or ring 020 7563 4545.


You can also access our eBook library from home and we continue to provide our usual postal loans service, although books may take longer to reach you at present.

Monday 8 August 2022


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.


NHS dentistry crisis makes headlines

Today the crisis facing NHS dentistry is leading the news in every UK nation.

Working with us over recent months, the BBC identified and attempted to contact every General Dental Services provider.  
The UK-wide results are frankly eye-watering: 

  • 90% of NHS practices were not accepting new adult patients, (6,193 of 6,880 contacted)
  • 80% of NHS practices were not accepting new child patients 
  • Of those practices not taking on adults, 25% said they had an open waiting list, and 17% said the wait time was a year or longer, or were unable to say how long it would be 
  • In 35% of all local authorities, BBC researchers did not successfully reach any practices accepting new adult NHS patients
“NHS dentistry is at a tipping point” according to GDPC Chair Shawn Charlwood, “with millions unable to get the care they need and more dentists leaving with every day that passes.”


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