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Updates from week commencing 24 May 2021

Read all the updates that took place throughout this week.

Friday 28 May 2021



Could you influence the direction of the BDA?


We have a vacancy for a UK-wide member to serve on our board until December 2023. Our board has overall responsibility for the control and direction of the policy and affairs of the BDA and its members are the directors of the association. We would expect you to devote around 20 days per year, and you'll receive an annual payment of £15,000.


Submit a nomination form or contact Stephen Skelton to discuss the role further.





Northern Ireland: Duty of Candour online event


The Department of Health is hosting an online information session on the Duty of Candour and Being Open public consultation on 3 June 2021.


This new Duty of Candour will affect everyone involved in providing HSC services, whether salaried or independent contractors. This is the opportunity to highlight concerns relating to dentistry, and we would encourage as many as possible to attend this important event.


Register for the online event.





Racism in dentistry: new study exploring lived experiences


As part of our commitment to tackling racism in dentistry, if you are a minority ethnic dentist working in the UK, we invite you to take part in an online diary study.


You will be asked to document any race-related encounters which occur in your work as a dentist. The encounters you describe can be positive or negative in nature, and may relate to interactions with colleagues, patients, or others. The study will take place over four weeks and participants will receive a £20 gift card upon completion.


To find out more, fill out this expression of interest and someone will be in touch if you’re eligible to proceed.



Thursday 27 May 2021



Continuing to support you during the COVID-19 pandemic


We know that this year has been incredibly hard for dentists; therefore, I wanted to take a moment to applaud you for your efforts during a time of tremendous uncertainty.


We have been working around the clock to provide you with information, support, and resources through this page.


We developed resources to help you safely return to work. We gave advice on individual pay disputes and uncertainty, and we stood by you and advocated on your behalf to Parliament.


We will continue to fight for you during this time, so you get the support and resources you deserve. Thank you for continuing to support us.


With regards,


Eddie Crouch
Chair, BDA





England: MPs join our call for rapid contract reform


MPs from both sides of the House this week joined our calls for more support for dentistry, and a need to break with the discredited UDA system.


After viewing the alarming findings from our latest member surveys, two parliamentary debates were held on Tuesday 25 May to discuss the current crisis in NHs dentistry.


MPs unanimously called for:


  • rapid and meaningful contract reform
  • a roadmap out of current infection control measures
  • change to the new activity targets

Health Minister Jo Churchill MP confirmed that Public Health England was in the process of reviewing the current guidance on infection prevention and control in dental practices.


For more detail on what happened over the course of these debates read our news piece:






Wales: NHS COVID-19 bonus payment


The Welsh Government has published information on who is eligible for the COVID-19 bonus payment and how this will be made.


This follows the announcement from the Government in March that, as a thank you, they would be giving NHS and social care staff a one off bonus of £735, or allowing for basic rate of tax and national insurance contributions, around £500.



Wednesday 26 May 2021



We need a clear road map that eases COVID-19 restrictions for all


We’ve worked tirelessly to get MPs up to speed on issues you've told us that are not just limiting capacity in 2021, but are jeopardising the workforce and with it the future of services.


In a new blog, Shawn Charlwood, Chair of the General Dental Practice Committee shares the messages we’ve taken to Ministers and the media:


“Many dentists have just had enough. Nearly half of you said that if things go on as they are you are likely to put down the drill and move on in the next 12 months if restrictions remain in place. Similar numbers say the same when it comes to reducing NHS commitment.”






Remote orthodontics: We need regulation not warnings


In a recent blog, BDA Chair Eddie Crouch explained why the new guidelines on remote orthodontics are no substitute for meaningful regulation when it comes to protecting patients.


"Given these aligners can lead to fundamental changes to a patient's mouth... we've not let up on the need to see proper protections in place."






Equality, diversity and inclusion in dentistry: new DDAG report


The Diversity in Dentistry Action Group (DDAG) has published Equality, diversity and inclusion within dentistry - a profession wide commitment, setting out aims, plans and recommendations for tackling inequalities in dentistry.


Their initial focus will be on racial equality in dentistry, with this later expanding to address wider protected characteristics and discrimination issues.


Laura Cross and Shareena Ilyas, Co-Chairs of the BDA’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee said:


“We are proud to have contributed to this new report from the DDAG and applaud their collaborative approach to tackling racism in the dental profession. Only together can we break down the barriers that are at the root of discrimination and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to pursue a successful career in dentistry.


“We look forward to continuing to help drive this agenda forward and to make dentistry a more inclusive and equitable profession. We are continuing with our work on equality, diversity and inclusion, investigating the issues faced within dentistry, and helping to define the solutions.”





BDJ Clinicians' Guides


Did you know, being a member entitles you to a 20% discount on the BDJ Clinicians' Guides series?


The guides enables clinicians at all stages of their careers to remain well informed and up to date on key topics across all fields of dentistry. Ideal for undergraduates and the newly qualified, they also serve as a refresher for more experienced clinicians and are valued as excellent postgraduate texts too.


To access the discount code and place your order, just visit



Tuesday 25 May 2021



England: Progress on ventilation?


The first of the two debates on dentistry scheduled for today in Parliament has once again generated cross-party consensus on the need for urgent contract reform and a route map to ease COVID restrictions and support dental practices to expand access.


In response, Health Minister Jo Churchill MP has informed MPs that she has instructed NHS England to look at how practices could be supported on ventilation.


England remains the only UK nation that hasn’t committed to or embarked on exploratory work on capital funding in response to our calls.  We are seeking clarity on next steps.





Communicating the dangers of home teeth-whitening kits sold online


Our Board Member, Paul Woodhouse features in the latest Which? investigation video in which he emphasises the dangers of home teeth-whitening kits sold online.


The video is in response to a Which? report into such kits which have been found to contain dangerous levels of bleaching chemical that can burn gums and cause tooth loss. The worst example had more than 300 times the recommended amount of hydrogen peroxide. A further 20 products out of 36 tested also had illegal levels of the bleach. All have since been removed from sale by outlets including AliExpress, Amazon and eBay.


Watch Paul from 1:45.


Paul states: "Hydrogen peroxide is a seriously strong chemical and not to be messed with. Dentists are trained in its usage and they also know what whitening products are effective to use and safe for teeth and gums. If you destroy gum tissue, you are never going to get it back and you lose your teeth. If it penetrates the surface of your tooth, which is likely, it's probably going to lead to the death of that tooth."


Further press on this subject includes the BBC 'Dangerous' home teeth-whitening kits sold online and the Huffington Post Teeth whitening kits could be damaging your gnashers and gums. See our advice on teeth whitening.





An exodus from dentistry


Today we’ve published figures straight from the field on the toll this pandemic is taking on the workforce, and with it the care they provide to millions:


  • Nearly half the GDPs in England who responded to our survey indicated they are likely to move on - to either change career or seek early retirement in the next 12 months should current restrictions remain in place.
  • A similar proportion say they are likely to reduce their NHS commitment.
  • Wearing high-level PPE is singled out as the single biggest driver of the crisis of morale facing the workforce.

30 million appointments have been lost since the first lockdown, in the NHS in England alone. We are clear that any recovery will hinge on the workforce, and we need to see a road map to lift restrictions and deliver needed reform. 

It’s a message we’ve taken to the press, and to MPs who are set to debate the future of dentistry in parliament later today.



Monday 24 May 2021



Supporting patients with a learning disability and autism


Sara Hurley, Chief Dental Officer England has issued information to help better support patients with a learning disability, and those with additional support needs.


Evidence shows that for people with a learning disability, there are greater unmet oral health needs, poorer access to dental services and less preventive dental interventions. Autistic patients may find the experience of a dental check up itself distressing. However, with adjustments, these groups of people can get equal access to high quality care.





Northern Ireland: Duty of Candour online event


The Department of Health is hosting an online information session on the Duty of Candour and Being Open public consultation on 3 June 2021.


This new Duty of Candour will affect everyone involved in providing HSC services, whether salaried or independent contractors. This is the opportunity to highlight concerns relating to dentistry, and we would encourage as many as possible to attend this important event.


Register for the online event.





Living with the threat of vicarious liability


Can practice owners ever completely protect themselves from the risk of vicarious liability?


Many of you will already be familiar with the recent court case in which a dental practice owner was found to be vicariously liable for the errors of his associate.


Our members have been calling us to express concern. To reassure them, we have taken advice from legal counsel to find out whether (and how) practice owners can protect themselves from litigation for another person’s acts and omissions.






80% struggling to access dentistry


This latest report from Healthwatch England makes for sobering reading, with evidence that four in five people struggled to access timely care between January and March 2021.


The patient watchdog targets "twin crises of access and affordability" we have warned of long before COVID and echoes our call for a fundamental rethink of NHS dentistry.


We supported recent commitments from the Department of Health to see through reform of NHS dentistry in England. We’re clear that contractual and legislative change needs to be in place before 1 April 2022, and the beginning of the next financial year for NHS providers.


MPs are set to tackle these issues in a parliamentary debate led by Bedford's Mohammad Yasin tomorrow.