Dentistry in the News

Interesting news articles at a national level and regional level across the country...

BDA vice chair says private dentists have received no support from Government

BDA vice chair Eddie Crouch was interviewed on the Times Radio Breakfast show yesterday (21 July), discussing the news that public sector workers are to receive a 2.8% pay uplift. The presenter asked why dentists are getting a pay rise when the government has said the pay rises reflect the efforts of healthcare workers during the COVID-19 crisis when dentists couldn't 'contribute'. Eddie said: "For the last decade it's one area [dentistry] of the health service where we've seen a decrease in funding. Many years of zero pay uplift or below inflation uplift. This is a step in the right direction to help the sustainability of dental practices which are going through the most difficult period in my whole career." In response to the question that dentists couldn't open, so couldn't contribute during the epidemic, Eddie said: "Many of my colleagues have been open, they have been triaging...many are working in urgent dental care centres, many in hospitals were working in Covid wards and doing GAs. It's quite unfair to say we weren't working, we were doing many things, we were redeployed, many colleagues I'm very proud of, as they stepped up to the plate."

In response to the question about the challenges faced by dentists are after being locked down for so long, Eddie said: "Many practices operate not only as an NHS practice, which this award is related to, but many practices are also private or mixed. And it is often the private income that subsidises the NHS services, there has been absolutely no support for my private colleagues, and we hear on a daily basis that many practices are quite close to closing, and that will put terrible pressure on the NHS if it's not supported. It's a step in the right direction to help mixed practices, but we need more support. Because many practices at the moment are not operating anywhere near like where they were in February, and many practices are not generating income from private work that will support them, and that is a real fear.

He said private dentists have received no support from Government, as they are over the threshold for eligibility and can't even get bank loans. He called for an urgent review of the current procedures, to help dentists ensure their practices can be sustainable. He expressed sympathy with those not in the public sector who are facing pay cuts and job losses and says the situation is awful for the entire workforce. He said: "I'm not ungrateful for the fact we have had an uplift at a time when we desperately need it. But I have sympathy for those who've had a pay cut. For many years going back dentists have had pay freezes and this is someway of stepping up the changes back to where we were previously, many colleagues have seen a 25% cut in their income over the last decade because of public sector pay freezes."

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BDA warns that rising costs could put some dental practices out of business

This morning on the 6 am news, BBC Radio Oxford quoted the British Dental Association as saying that dental practices are facing a rise in PPE costs of up to 6,000%; and warned that an unpredictable international supply is making prices fluctuate.  The news presenter went on to say that the BDA was concerned that the rising costs could put some practices out of business. In an interview, BDA vice chair, Eddie Crouch said that this is the worst crisis in dentistry that he has seen in his 35 year career. He pointed out that that many private practices received absolutely no support all in the past three months and were reporting that the increased costs linked to the new infection control measures were making their practices unsustainable. listen from 06???


Before Covid-19 hit, years of pay restraint had already taken their toll... above inflation increases are starting to repair that damage

Several news outlets in Scotland cited the pay rise announced yesterday for NHS medical and dental staff, and included responses from the BDA, the BMA, as well as commentary from health secretary Jeane Freeman. BDA vice chair, Eddie Crouch said that the increase in in pay – instead of another pay cut – would offer some comfort to NHS dentists in these difficult times. He said: "Before Covid-19 hit, years of pay restraint had already taken their toll. Above inflation increases are starting to repair that damage, and now must be pursued in tandem with other needed action to keep this service afloat. He called for a concerted strategy to ensure the nation's dental services – both NHS and private – have a future. The response from BMA Scotland chair Lewis Morrison noted that doctors in Scotland have had up to 30 per cent real-term pay cuts over many years and almost all recent pay uplifts have fallen short of being acceptable.


Dentists want to provide the best treatment for their patients but ... some people could have teeth removed unnecessarily

An article in The Scotsman outlines the graduated return of dentistry and what services that NHS dental practices are permitted to provide for patients. It notes that the Scottish Government's phased return of NHS dental services in three stages was originally outlined in a letter to the BDA from Scotland's chief dental officer (CDO) Tom Ferris on 20 May. This states that the situation is extremely complex: "We need to be mindful of the oral health needs of patients balanced against the wider situation with Covid-19, and the essential requirements that we reduce the risk of community transmission and protect both patients and dental teams," the CDO said. The article points out that we are in the second phase of dental practices opening, which commenced on July 13 and this excludes aerosol generating procedures. 

Elsewhere on Sounds radio station, BDA spokesperson and member of Scotland Dental Practice Committee, John Davidson said that dentists want to provide the best treatment they can for their patients but were concerned that restrictions on dental practices meant that some people could have teeth removed unnecessarily.

Sounds recording is unavailable

Six small changes you can make right now to improve your health and wellbeing

The Daily Mirror on Saturday featured experts giving top tips on improving oral health, posture, sleep patterns and digestion. BDA spokesperson Philip Stemmer gave advice on good oral hygiene, he said: "Leave the sink the moment you've applied toothpaste to your brush – rinsing washes away the protective fluoride coating, which adds hours of protection. Avoid drinking any fluids for at least half an hour after. I dry my toothbrush before applying paste – there's plenty of moisture in your mouth already."

Also in The People (Ulster) edition - not available online


31/05/20 Update: Changes to reporting

Reporting on the number of people tested has been temporarily paused to ensure consistent reporting across all pillars. This is due to a small percentage of cases where the same person has had more than one test or tested positive more than once for COVID-19 in Pillar 2. Corrections will be made to any figures if they have subsequently been found to have an error.

The number of tests is 1,395 higher than the difference between today and yesterday’s cumulative totals. This is due to revisions to historical data in Pillar 1 (adding 3 tests) and Pillar 2 (removing 1,398 tests) due to further information being made available to support data processing.

The number of in-person tests is 5,005 higher and delivery 3,607 lower than the difference between today and yesterday’s cumulative totals. This is due to revisions to historical data in Pillar 2 due to further information being made available to support data processing.

The daily count for deaths in all settings is 6 lower than the daily count for deaths in hospital. This is because the hospital-only count will include some deaths that have already been included in the composite all-settings count on a previous day.

From 1st June we will stop publishing a separate count of deaths in hospital as our daily count now provides a count of deaths in all settings. NHS England continue to publish deaths in hospital, for England, on their website.

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