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GDPR: What young dentists need to know about protecting patients' data

Blog Author Nikki Patel

Blog Date 24/04/2018


Will patient data give you a headache?

You may, or may not, have heard the term GDPR being mentioned by your practice manager, owner or employer – it stands for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and it is coming into force on 25 May 2018.

The GDPR aims to make organisations more accountable in the way they collect, store and use data and within NHS dentistry, it means those who are handling data need to comply or might face a hefty fine.

As a foundation dentist or an associate, you are likely to be a 'data processor' under these new regulations, and your practice should explain what your responsibilities are, and what you need to do under them to ensure you are complying.  

Your practice may also ask to make a change to your contract, to include wording show they are ensuring their associates are complying. If this happens and you'd like advice on any contract wording changes, do use the BDA's free contract checking services – our experts can offer tailored advice on this topic. 

Digital literacy in dentistry

What do we mean by digital literacy in dentistry? We discussed this at a free event organised by Health Education Clinical Fellows and supported by the BDA, Local Dental Committees and HEE's Building a Digital Ready Workforce team.

I chaired an interesting panel debate about the challenges dentistry faces to become digitally-enabled and how they can be supported – HEE Clinical Fellow Yasmin Allen highlights some of the key points in her new blog.

Will the sugar tax work?

The new sugar tax (levy) came into force this month, meaning manufacturers have to pay a levy on the high-sugar drinks they sell, making them likely to make the drinks more expensive for consumers, or forcing them to reduce the levels of sugars in drinks.

The BDA lobbied extensively, alongside other organisations, to make this happen and it shows the power of what our professional organisation can do in terms of collective action to implement change.

Many are asking if it will make a difference to people's health, particularly in relation to obesity and tooth decay, so we will have to watch and wait.

But we know more still needs to be done to ensure better oral health for all though and our works will continue.

The importance of female role models

An interesting piece appeared in the Indy100 last week, it covered a story on a mother in America tweeting about her little girl's visit to the dentist and the girl's reaction at there being no female dentists at the practice; it ignited quite a discussion about the importance of gender representation in the healthcare industry.

The piece points out that female dentists in the UK are earning approximately 20 per cent less than their male counterparts – we still don't know the exact reasons for this (it is a complex issue) but we'd like to find out why and the BDA is working on this very issue.


And finally – nominate a young dentist!

Don't forget to nominate a colleague, or friend, working in dentistry, who you think deserves some recognition for the great things they do – our Joy Harrild Award for Young Dentists is closing soon, so get a move on!

Nominees have to be BDA members and up to 10 years post-qualification – find out more online.

Nikki PatelNikki Patel, Chair

Young Dentists Committee


Supporting young dentists: into practice

We support dentists at all stage in their careers – newly-qualified dentists can access our starting out information, to help with the transition from university into practice.