7th April 2020New dates announced For the Dental Technology Showcase (DTS) 2020
The Dental Technology Showcase (DTS) will be postponed to Friday 11th and Saturday 12th September 2020 due to official advice regarding the current COVID-19 pandemic and will remain at the NEC Birmingham.
This decision was made by organisers in order to protect delegates, exhibitors, sponsors, partners, speakers and staff.
Show Director, Alex Harden, commented:
“We would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding. While we have not taken this decision lightly, the health and safety of individuals involved is a top priority for us.
“We will be working hard to create another outstanding event in September, offering the first-class educational and networking opportunities that DTS has become known for. We will also be liaising with partners, exhibitors and sponsors to ensure they have every opportunity to maximise on their time at the later event. If anyone has any questions, please do contact the CloserStill Media team.”
DTS 2020 – Friday 11 th and Saturday 12 th September – Hall 5, Birmingham NEC, co-located with the British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show. www.the-dts.co.uk, 020 7348 5270, email@example.com
3rd April 2020Cyber security: working from home
If you're working from home, it's important to protect your devices to ensure all personal information is secure. Read DTA article How cyber aware is your business? which highlights security measures to reduce the risk of a cyber attack and tips on how to secure your devices and
data from malware and phishing attacks.
The Federal Trade Commission offer these tips for protecting your devices and personal information, click read more.
- Start with cybersecurity basics. Keep your security software up to date. Use passwords on all your devices and apps. Make sure the passwords are long, strong and unique: at least 12 characters that are a mix of numbers, symbols and capital and lowercase letters.
- Secure your home network. Start with your router. Turn on encryption (WPA2 or WPA3). Encryption scrambles information sent over your network so outsiders can’t read it. WPA2 and WPA3 are the most up-to-date encryption standards to protect information sent over a wireless network. No WPA3 or WPA2 options on your router? Try updating your router software, then check again to see if WPA2 or WPA3 are available. If not, consider replacing your router. For more guidance, read Securing Your Wireless Network and Secure Remote Access.
- Keep an eye on your laptop. If you’re using a laptop, make sure it is password-protected, locked and secure. Never leave it unattended – like in a vehicle or at a public charging station.
- Securely store sensitive files. When there’s a legitimate business need to transfer confidential information from office to home, keep it out of sight and under lock and key. If you don’t have a file cabinet at home, use a locked room. For more tips, read about physical security.
- Dispose of sensitive data securely. Don’t just throw it in the trash or recycling bin. Shred it. Paperwork you no longer need can be treasure to identity thieves if it includes personal information about customers or employees.
- Follow your employer’s security practices. Your home is now an extension of your office. So, follow the protocols that your employer has implemented.
by Lisa Weintraub Schifferle
Attorney, FTC, Division of Consumer & Business Education
3rd April 2020FAQ Coronavirus (COVID-19) - version 3
Last week we published an FAQ document in order to provide you with some guidance and clarity on some of the main issues surrounding our profession during the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Today we release an updated version to include the latest announcements and links, see version 3 here - FAQ Coronavirus (COVID-19) V3.
There are many links throughout the document to help signpost you to current information on relevant websites which are being regularly updated.
2nd April 2020COVID-19 Dental Services Webinar
Friday 3rd April 17:00
Chief Dental Officer Sara Hurley and Director of Primary Care and Systems Transformation, Matt Neligan, will be holding a webinar on Friday 3rd April at 17.00 The webinar will be recorded and placed on the NHS England website.
1st April 2020Acas Live Twitter Q&A Sessions
If you have questions or concerns about time off work, pay, remote working and what steps you can take to reduce the spread of the virus, you can join Acas experts on live Twitter chats which are being run each Friday over the coming weeks.
Send your questions in advance to @acasorguk #AskAcas.
30th March 2020Register your interest: voluntary redeployment of the dental workforce to areas of need within the wider NHS
The Chief Dental Officer England and NHS England are producing a framework for the voluntary redeployment of the dental workforce to areas of need within the wider NHS, based on the competencies of each team member. Any dental team member wishing to work in the wider NHS can register their interest via the NHS England & NHS Improvement website.
The Office of the Chief Dental Officer, England, NHS England & NHS Improvement team have asked the DTA to share the below information to our membership.
The Letter of Preparedness from Chief Dental Officer, England, Sara Hurley, and NHS England and NHS Improvement, Director of Primary Care and System Transformation, Matt Neligan, published on 25th of March outlined the postponement of elective dental care and further assurance of NHS dental contracts. Please see Issue 3 Preparedness for primary dental care.
Amongst significant changes to primary dental service provision it describes a highly skilled workforce with the capacity to help the wider health and social care system. The Office of Chief Dental Officer, England, has, to date received an overwhelming number of requests and queries from members of the dental team wishing to support the NHS and our medical colleagues in response to COVID-19.
To support both NHS colleagues and enable dental teams to volunteer, the Chief Dental Officer, England, and NHS England and NHS Improvement is producing a framework for the voluntary redeployment of the dental workforce to areas of need within the wider NHS, based on the competencies of each dental team member.
Any dental team member wishing to support the NHS can register their interest via survey link on the NHS England & NHS Improvement website https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/returning-clinicians/dental-professionals/
Thank you for your ongoing support to the NHS.
The Office of the Chief Dental Officer, England, NHS England & NHS Improvement team
The GDC have issues advice to dental professionals working in non-dental settings:
The NHS is increasingly asking dental professionals to be ready to support the wider COVID-19 response by using their professional skills and experience outside the normal range of dental and oral health activities. As a regulator, we want to support that activity and our registrants taking part in it, while of course keeping to the fundamental need to do so in ways which support patient safety.
When a dental professional is providing support to the wider NHS, the same basic principles apply as in any other situation: the test is whether they are trained, competent and indemnified for the tasks they undertake.
There are many tasks in the wider health service which can be performed by dental professionals drawing on their existing professional skills and experience. Registrants should satisfy themselves that they are competent to perform the tasks being asked of them, or are given the training necessary to equip them to do so. We understand that the health services are preparing guidance on the mapping between dental skills and wider medical tasks, which registrants will want to take into account.
We expect registrants to make a considered judgement about whether they are trained and competent; we do not expect them to limit themselves to the specific activities set out in their scope of practice. That doesn’t make scope of practice irrelevant: it will be a useful starting point for considering what wider tasks are appropriate, but it does not in itself constrain dental professionals’ ability to support the COVID-19 response.
Indemnity should not be an issue where support of this kind is being provided to the NHS, since the Coronavirus Act provides cover for any liabilities beyond the scope of existing cover. We understand that some indemnifiers may choose to offer extended cover; registrants should ensure that they check with their indemnity provider and, if appropriate, with the relevant NHS authority that coverage is in place by one route or the other.
29th March 2020Be vigilant against coronavirus scams
Advice for consumers: coronavirus scam calls and texts
The government are warning the public to be extra vigilant and be wary of scams related to coronavirus (Covid-19).
Scammers are calling home phones and sending text messages to mobile phones, some of which claiming to be from the Government, your GP’s surgery, the NHS, or even the World Health Organisation (WHO).
If you fall victim, you could be left out of pocket.
The government state that you can only access government schemes through GOV.UK. If someone texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC, saying that you can claim financial help or are owed a tax refund, and asks you to click on a link or to give information such as your name, credit card or bank details, it is a scam. The government advise these steps to help protect yourself:
- reject offers that come out of the blue
- get the company’s name and establish their credentials using the FCA’s Financial Services Register
- beware of adverts on social media channels and paid for/sponsored adverts online
- do not click links or open emails from senders you don’t already know
- be wary of promised returns that sound too good to be true
- take your time to make all the checks you need, even if this means turning down an ‘amazing deal’
- do not give out personal details (bank details, address, existing insurance/pensions/investment details)
- seek financial guidance or advice before changing your pension arrangements or making investments
There is further advice on the FCA’s ScamSmart website about how to protect yourself and if you suspect you may have been contacted in what could be a scam, you can make a complaint to the Insolvency Service or call Action Fraud straight away on 0300 123 2040.
Government website, 26 March 2020
Ofcom have released advice for consumers including examples of what to look out for on the Ofcom website.
28th March 2020ACAS Coronavirus webinar for employers
Acas experts run regular webinars on employment law topics and employment relations. They're free to join, you just need to register in advance. The sessions are interactive and you can ask questions throughout.
The coronavirus webinar for employers provides practical advice for employers to help manage the impact of coronavirus in the workplace. It includes: steps that can help reduce the spread of the virus, effective ways of communicating with employees, self-isolating, time off, sickness certification and sick pay, altering working hours, shift patterns and working arrangements, remote working and the use of technology. Register now
Advice for employers and employees can be found on the ACAS Website
27th March 2020UK Special Risks urge you to check and update your insurance policy for commercial premises
If you have an insurance policy for your commercial premises with UK Special Risks, or indeed any other provider, it is important that you contact them to update your current circumstances, especially if the premises is left unoccupied or if you have moved equipment to be stored elsewhere, this could include IT equipment, phone systems etc which have been moved to a domestic location to service a “work from home” operation. Uk Special Risks have contacted their customers directly with further information and although your priorities may be elsewhere at the moment, they stress that this can have several consequences which could require some consideration, and potential action.
Visit UK Special Risks website for contact details.
27th March 2020Self-employment Income Support Scheme (COVID-19)
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced the Self-employment Income Support Scheme which will allow self-employed workers to apply for a grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month, to help them cope with the financial impact of coronavirus.
It is open to those who were trading in the last financial year, still trading now (or would be except for COVID-19), and planning to continue doing so this year, with a trading profit of less than £50,000 in 2018-19 (or an average trading profit of less than £50,000 from 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19). More than half of your income must come from self-employment. The scheme does not cover people who only became self-employed very recently.
The grant will be backdated to March and will be paid directly into people's banks accounts as a lump sum from HMRC, but not until June.
Unlike the employee scheme, the self-employed can continue to work as they receive support.
Be careful of scams
You will access this scheme only through GOV.UK. If someone texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC, saying that you can claim financial help or are owed a tax refund, and asks you to click on a link or to give information such as your name, credit card or bank details, it is a scam.
Other help you can get
The government is also providing the following additional help for the self-employed:
- deferral of Self Assessment income tax payments due in July 2020 and VAT payments due from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020
- grants for businesses that pay little or no business rates
- increased amounts of Universal Credit
- Business Interruption Loan Scheme
If you’re a director of your own company and paid through PAYE you may be able to get support using the Job Retention Scheme.
Information was published on the government website 26 March 2020.
26th March 2020Latest guidance for England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland
Advice is being provided by the different departments of health and below are the links to the relevant information across the four nations:
25th March 2020Dental technologists are considered as key workers
The GDC have responded to a number of concerns that the DTA raised on behalf of our membership, including clarification on whether dental technologists are considered as key workers. The GDC have responded:
"Our understanding is that all dental care professionals, including dental technicians are considered key workers in relation to childcare provisions during this pandemic."
The GDC's response continues to address the concerns we have raised regarding the lack of support and guidance for dental technologists:
"With regards to support and guidance available for dental technologists, we recognise that much of the response offered by relevant health and government authorities has been focused on clinical staff, who are likely to come into direct contact with patients as part of treatment. We realise that this is causing distress and anxiety among dental technicians. We continue to collate and communicate the concerns raised by key stakeholders, including yourself to the appropriate authorities. We are hopeful that further details will be offered by the Government with regards to financial support for all dental professionals, including your members.
We will of course signpost and communicate key updates to registrants as and when they are revealed. The latest Covid-19 guidance is available on our website here."
The DTA will continue to support our members during this difficult time.
25th March 2020COVID-19 Update for dental teams from the Office of the Chief Dental Officer, England
A COVID-19 update for dental professionals has been published today (25th March) “Issue 3 - Preparedness letter for primary dental care – 25 March 2020” outlined in the letter are the below three points which indicate there is likely to be little to no dental laboratory work requested for the foreseeable future:
1. All routine, non-urgent dental care including orthodontics should be stopped and deferred until advised otherwise.
2. All practices should establish (independently or by collaboration with others) a remote urgent care service, providing telephone triage for their patients with urgent needs during usual working hours, and whenever possible treating with:
• Antimicrobial means where appropriate
3. If the patient’s condition cannot be managed by these means, then they will need to be referred to the appropriate part of their Local Urgent Dental Care system.
You are reminded that all COVID19 guidance for primary care is consolidated on the NHS Website. Please note that guidance, standard operating procedures and other publications are being revised and updated on an ongoing basis – so do visit the site regularly for the latest information.
Advice is being provided by the different departments of health and the GDC have links to the relevant information across the four nations on their website.
24th March 2020General information for DTA members
Following the Prime Minister Boris Johnson address to the nation on coronavirus at 20:30 on 23 March 2020, the nation are urged to stay at home, protect our NHS and save lives. What does this mean for dental technologists?
- As a dental professional you must keep yourself aware of current COVID-19 government guidance and make decisions informed by that guidance.
- The DTA News page on the website provides important information for our members and it encourages continued high level PPE and disinfection procedures throughout the workplace.
- At this point the BDA have recommended that dental practices cease routine dentistry and operate an advice and emergency service only. There is likely to be little dental laboratory work requested for the foreseeable future. The packages of support that have been offered by the government, mortgage lenders and others appear generous, so take early action.
- Under the current government statement on Key Workers, it is not clear if dental technologists in the private sector are classed as key workers. We are currently seeking clarification and we will keep you updated on the DTA News page.
- If you are requested to attend work by an employer in order to provide emergency work or denture repairs it is your professional judgement and personal decision taking account of the factors related to COVID-19, government guidance and above all else, at all times keeping yourself and others safe. If it is essential that you go to work, consider taking a photograph of your GDC certificate to have readily available on your phone if you are spot checked in transit to or from work.
- If you are an employer your professional judgement remains key when making decisions about providing, or not providing, emergency work or repairs. Take measures to protect yourself and others by restricting visitor access into the building, including deliveries, asking them to remain outside if possible, follow governance social distancing advice and ensure you have robust procedure in place that respects infection control.
- The GDC contacted all registrants by email on 23 March 2020 stating their current position and emphasise the need for an informed professional judgement.
In order to provide you with some guidance and clarity on some of the main issues surrounding our profession during the outbreak of Coronavirus, we have summarised these in a question and answer format in the FAQ Coronavirus (COVID-19) document. There are many links throughout the document to help signpost you to current information on relevant websites which are being regularly updated.
As well as updating the DTA News page, we are sending regular email updates to our membership. If you are not receiving these emails, please contact us by email firstname.lastname@example.org with your membership number and we can make sure you are included in these important updates.
Current as of 24 March 2020.
24th March 2020Self-employed people can now apply to the Business Interruption Loan Scheme
The BBC have reported that self-employed people can now apply to the Business Interruption Loan Scheme:
"The British Business Bank says self-employed people with an annual turnover of up to £45m can apply under the scheme, as long as they operate through a business bank account, and generate more than 50% of their turnover from trading activity.
This includes sole traders, freelancers, and limited partnerships, operating in all sectors.
The government has already said the UK's five million self-employed people would be allowed to defer self-assessment tax payments, and would benefit from mortgage payment holidays as well as an expansion of welfare support, including universal credit and Local Housing Allowance.
HM Treasury told the BBC the government was "working hard on further measures to support the self-employed".
An annoucement is expected today providing more information on the support offer to self-employed people. The DTA will update members via the DTA News page.
23rd March 2020BDA issue urgent advice to dentists indicating a significant reduction in routine clinical activity
The BDA have issued urgent advice to all dentists recommending that practices cease routine dentistry and operate an advice and emergency service only. This is not yet mandatory and the BDA suggest that dentists should exercise their own clinical judgement, taking into account their own practising circumstances. This will have a significant impact on the dental laboratory. Read more on the BDA website.
If you are continuing to operate, read this article and follow the guidance.
23rd March 2020Can dental laboratories continue to operate?
Whether or not dental laboratories can continue to operate is currrently a common concern among our membership. At present, you can continue to operate however, you must use your own professional judgement, particularly in relation to your own health, employee safety and you must:
• Follow the government and NHS advice
• Ensure safety within the workplace
• Ensure the Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) standard operating procedures are adhered to
• Review your own cross infection procedures
• Ensure correct labelling of decontaminated devices are followed, the 2013 edition of Health Technical Memorandum 01-05 gives the basic requirements.
For more information, we have published a document in question and answer format to provide you with some guidance and clarity on some of the main issues surrounding our profession during the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) – FAQ Document
23rd March 2020FAQs Coronavirus (COVID-19)
In order to provide you with some guidance and clarity on some of the main issues surrounding our profession during the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19), we have summarised these in a question and answer format in the FAQ Coronavirus (COVID-19) document. There are many links throughout the document to help signpost you to current information on relevant websites which are being regularly updated.
22nd March 2020The Dental Technology Showcase (DTS) postponed
The Dental Technology Showcase (DTS) will be postponed to Friday 11th - Saturday 12th September 2020 and will remain at the NEC Birmingham due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
21st March 2020UK Special Risks insurance update to our members
To all our members who have insurance through UK Special Risks, please continue reading this important information with their guidance and hopefully, answers to many of those questions that may be running through your own minds at this unprecedented time.
UK Special Risks have been contacting their customers directly with the following information:
"As a client of First Insurance Solutions / UK Special Risks, we want to reassure you that we are wholly committed to supporting you and your business as much as possible. We have a robust business continuity plan in place, and have remote working procedures to ensure minimal disruption in delivering the service that you require.
Continuing to support our clients as effectively, and as safely as possible, is our main priority, and you can be assured that all phone calls, emails and enquiries shall be responded to as swiftly as possible. With most of our insurer partners now operating remotely from home, we do anticipate small delays in response times from insurers, but we shall work together with them to ensure your business requirements are met as required.
In order to provide you with some guidance and clarity on some of the main insurance issues surrounding the outbreak, we have summarised these in a question and answer format below:
Do we have cover under our Business Interruption Insurance for loss of business?
The majority of business interruption policies unfortunately do not cover COVID-19. Business Interruption Insurance is primarily dependent on there being physical damage (for example, by fire or theft) to either a policyholder’s property or, by extension, to that of key suppliers or customers. In each case, what is covered is the loss of revenue or the increased costs a business incurs as a consequence of the damage.
Some policies do offer a “notifiable disease extension”, but as this is a new disease, it is not on the notifiable disease list most insurers use, and cannot be added retrospectively to policies. There are policies which include an element of unspecified disease cover, but this is typically restricted to your main premises (or those within a small radius) and therefore is likely to offer little cover for contractors who have contracts delayed or cancelled due to the economic downturn.
Each policy and circumstance is slightly different, and so whilst the general viewpoint is there is no cover, you should contact us to discuss your exact situation so we can determine the extent of any coverage.
Can we have a payment break on our finance instalments?
Presently, this is not offered by Premium Credit (our finance provider) but they have agreed to consider and discuss issues on a case by case basis. Whilst we completely understand that cash flow is difficult to manage at the moment, we highly recommend that you maintain your insurance premium payments to ensure your continued insurance protection.
All of our employees are working from home; do we need to amend our coverage?
Some items you shall need to consider are as follows:
- Computers & laptops which are taken home by employees will need to be covered under the All Risks section of your property or computer policy and will not be covered as standard unless you have requested this cover.
- Is your office going to be unoccupied for longer than 30 days? Most insurers apply restrictions to cover after 30 days. Contact us if you have concerns on the requirements on your property policy.
Are we covered to bring employee’s children into the office?
Your Liability Insurance shall typically provide you with coverage, subject to the following considerations:
- Has a specific risk assessment of your business been carried out i.e. is it suitable for their children to access?
- Have the relevant checks been made for any staff members (if applicable) i.e. the suitability of those undertaking the supervision of their children?
- Have they followed current Government Guidance i.e. consideration around any staff / visitor exposure to the virus, self-isolation and third-party visitors to their premises?
- Has a risk assessment been undertaken on the suitability of the area where their children will be?
Please ensure you undertake and document a risk assessment that clearly shows the suitability of your workplace.
Does my Employers Liability cover me against COVID-19?
From a liability perspective, in particular Employers Liability, there could be some exposure as specified diseases are not excluded. However, you would have to be proven negligent in some way before any such claim could be considered under the policy; for example, if you permitted staff to travel to areas which are against World Health Organisation (WHO) or Government (Foreign & Commonwealth Office) advice.
We recommend you follow the attached guidance from WHO on how to ensure your workplace and business procedures are in line with Government recommendations.
Employees working from home are covered as standard – you may just need to ask them to complete a working from home questionnaire similar to a standard desk assessment, which could include the following:
- Lone working
- Home security
- Desk / Display Screen set up
- Manual handling
- Stress and welfare
- Fire and Electrical item safety
Although home working H&S Assessments may be temporarily abandoned by the government due to the nature of this Pandemic as a special measure, it would be prudent to ensure all Employees have a safe place of work & working from home questionnaires completed if possible.
Whilst we appreciate the lack of coverage provided by the insurance sector as a whole is largely disappointing, it is consistent with the fundamental principles of insurance. Insurance is based on the losses of a few being met by the premiums of many (pooling of risk), and unfortunately if the few then become the many, you have a situation where the premium levels do not meet the required claim’s payments, thus forcing insurers into liquidation and subsequently no claims being met.
Insurance is available and affordable due to insurers being able to accurately assess their liability and exposure. Global pandemics such as Coronavirus / Covid-19 are unknown risks which cannot accurately be assessed and priced, and are simply too large for the insurance industry to bear. The government have put in place measures to support and assist businesses who are struggling: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses.
The current situation is unfamiliar and unprecedented to all of us. The outbreak poses significant and unique challenges which we all must face together.
First Insurance Solutions and UK Special Risks are committed to supporting our clients, and the businesses which form the very backbone of our economy, in any way we possibly can.
Stay Safe and Stay Healthy.
Written By Benn Houghton
20th March 2020UK Government to help pay 80% employee wages
Rishi Sunak has just announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme offering up to 80% or a maximum of £2,500 per employee a month to employers who cannot cover staff costs due to COVID-19. Employers may be able to access this support to continue paying part of employee wages, to avoid redundancies.
If your employer intends to access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, they will discuss with you becoming classified as a furloughed worker. This would mean that you are kept on your employer’s payroll, rather than being laid off.
To qualify for this scheme, you should not undertake work for them while you are furloughed. This will allow your employer to claim a grant of up to 80% of your wage for all employment costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
You will remain employed while furloughed. Your employer could choose to fund the differences between this payment and your salary, but does not have to.
If your salary is reduced as a result of these changes, you may be eligible for support through the welfare system, including Universal Credit.
The government intend for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to run for at least 3 months from 1 March 2020, but will extend if necessary.
Find out more on the government website.
If your business needs short term cash flow support, you may be eligible for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan.
20th March 2020COVID-19 update for primary dental care professionals
A COVID-19 update for primary dental care professionals has been published today by Office of the Chief Dental Officer, England.
Within this letter it appears that the only reference to dental technology is the following:
‘Laboratory items Dental teams are encouraged to maintain good decontamination practice of laboratory items (e.g. impressions, prostheses and orthodontic appliances) in line with HTM 01-05, as would usually be expected. This is the responsibility of dental practices before any such items are sent to dental laboratories, in order to prevent all types of cross-infection.’
We have made representations to the Chief Dental Officer, England highlighting that dental technologists are an integral part of the oral healthcare team and are essential key workers.
All letters, standard operating procedures and associated documents are housed on the NHS England website which can be checked on a regular basis for updated documentation.
20th March 2020Key workers
We understand that dentists will be designated as key workers during the pandemic and we want to clarify if this is extended to DCPs, in particular, dental technicians.
We are currently seeking clarification from NHS England and we will keep you updated.
The government have a general list on their website.
19th March 2020Government support for businesses Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. Updated 18 March 2020.
The package includes:
- a statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs
- a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
- small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
- grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
- the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
- a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
- the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme
Up-to-date guidance for employers and businesses on coronavirus (COVID-19)
- businesses and workplaces should encourage their employees to work at home, wherever possible
- if someone becomes unwell in the workplace with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, they should be sent home and advised to follow the advice to stay at home
- employees should be reminded to wash their hands for 20 seconds more frequently and catch coughs and sneezes in tissues
- frequently clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, using your standard cleaning products
- employees will need your support to adhere to the recommendation to stay at home to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) to others
- those who follow advice to stay at home will be eligible for statutory sick pay (SSP) from the first day of their absence from work
- employers should use their discretion concerning the need for medical evidence for certification for employees who are unwell. This will allow GPs to focus on their patients
- employees from defined vulnerable groups should be strongly advised and supported to stay at home and work from there if possible
Read more on sick pay, certifying absence from work, what to do if an employee needs time off work to look after someone, limiting spread of coronavirus in business and workplaces, what to do if someone develops symptoms of coronavirus at work on the government website.
19th March 2020Handling Coronavirus at work - ACAS updated information
Acas Coronavirus advice for employers and employees has been updated. It includes new details on Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), use of holiday leave, increased advice around hygiene in the workplace and guidance for when employees need to self-isolate. Read more here.
Acas will be running free webinars to provide practical advice for employers to help manage the impact of Coronavirus in the workplace. View more details and register your place. They will also be holding a live Twitter Q&A session on Friday 20 March at 10:30am if you have questions or concerns about time off work, pay and remote working.
18th March 2020GDC responding to COVID-19: caring for patients in uncertain times
18th March 2020Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The DTA have contacted the Chief Dental Officers to express the growing concerns of our membership that little consideration and guidance has been offered to dental care professionals and in particular dental technologists.
We are urging for the government to act immediately, failure to communicate updated guidance on Coronavirus leaves the whole dental team and patients in a vulnerable position.
We will keep you updated.
The DTA are updating the advice in regards to Coronavirus via email to our membership. If you are not receiving these emails, please email email@example.com with you membership number and we can make sure you are included in these important updates.
Further information and guidance is being announced daily on the BBC News Special and updated at 2pm on the government website.
17th March 2020How to avoid catching and spreading (social distancing)
Avoid close contact with people who are unwell. Everyone should do what they do what they can to stop coronavirus from spreading. It is particularly important for people who:
• are 70 and over
• are asthmatic
• have a long-term health condition
• are pregnant
• have a weakened immune system
Signs and symptoms of this new virus
The current advice is to stay at home for 7 days if you have either:
• a high temperature
• a new continuous cough
Symptoms of the Coronavirus also include sneezing, and shortness of breath. The current evidence is that most cases appear to be mild. For anyone experiencing these symptoms, the advice is to self-isolate for 7 days and to stay indoors and avoid contact with other people. If you live with other people, you should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You do not need to contact NHS 111 to tell them you're staying at home.
If you are returning from abroad, the government website advises on what to do if you have recently returned from areas affected by the virus. It is important to follow the standard advice on self-isolation.
11th March 2020Indemnity insurance
It is important to work within your scope of practice because if you don’t, you are called before a GDC’s fitness to practise panel. The DTA has linked with UK Special Risks to provide cost-effective professional indemnity insurance to meet the statutory requirements for our dental technician members. Here are a couple of examples of how having the right insurance in place can help you.
Scope of practice
A formal GDC investigation was launched against the insured for fitness to practise. The allegations were that they had operated outside their ‘scope of practice’ and they were referred to the Interim Orders Committee. They were to decide whether or not the insured could continue to practise while the investigation was ongoing. They had allegedly been selling home impression kits without referring to a dentist. While the GDC pursued an interim order of conditions for a period of 18 months, following representation by specialist counsel, no order was made. The following month, the committee decided that the case against the insured could not be proven and decided not to investigate further.
Costs met by the insurance company: £7,590
A dental laboratory
This was a GDC investigation against the insured regarding a complaint about two dental appliances they had made for a dentist. During the investigation, there arose a further allegation that the GDC was informed about regarding the possibility that there was an unlicensed practitioner at the dental laboratory. This was potentially a criminal investigation. After representation by specialist counsel, appointed by the insurance company, the GDC concluded its formal assessment of the information received and decided not to refer this matter to the Investigating Committee. The GDC therefore closed its file and no further action was taken.
Costs met by the insurance company: £4,732.80
10th March 2020Coronavirus: wash your hands frequently
As the number of people confirmed as positive increases, the Government are urging regular hand-washing in fight against coronavirus.To protect yourself and others, you should always:
• Carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze
• Bin the tissue and, to kill the germs
• Wash your hands with soap and water, or use a sanitiser gel
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
• Avoid close contact with people who are unwell
The government published its coronavirus action plan on 3 March.
Information for the public on the outbreak of coronavirus including the current situation in the UK is being updated daily at 2pm on the government website. The DTA will continue to update members on the situation, in the meantime follow the advice issued by NHS England.
9th March 2020Handling corona virus at work
Acas have released new and updated guidance for employers and employees on handling coronavirus at work. This includes what to do if employees do not want to go to work, become unwell at work or show symptoms of the coronavirus. Plus information on sick pay and if the employer need to close the workplace. Read more here>>
6th March 2020Benefits of becoming a reflective practitioner
A joint statement of support from chief executives of statutory regulators of health and care professionals.
We introduce reflection through the Enhanced CPD scheme, and encourage dental professionals to reflect on the outcomes of their CPD activity, focusing on what they have learned and how this influences their daily practice and duties. The GDC is not prescriptive with how professionals should reflect or record reflection – professionals should reflect in the way that suits them best.
This joint statement sets out our common expectations for health and care professionals to be reflective practitioners, engaging meaningfully in reflection and the benefits it brings.
Being a reflective practitioner benefits people using health and care services by:
- supporting individual professionals in multidisciplinary teamwork
- fostering improvements in practice and services
- assuring the public that health and care professionals are continuously learning and seeking to improve
As well as expecting the people we regulate to be reflective practitioners, we also have a duty to consider our own actions, and their effect. We are committed to improving how we provide assurance and protection to the public. We do this continuously in our work through evaluation, to reflect and make changes in what we do and how we work. This statement reflects the principles set out in each regulator’s individual code of practice, professional standards or guidance on reflective practice.
Being a reflective practitioner
Reflection is the thought process where individuals consider their experiences to gain insights about their whole practice. Reflection supports individuals to continually improve the way they work or the quality of care they give to people. It is a familiar, continuous and routine part of the work of health and care professionals.
Opportunities for multi-professional teams to reflect and discuss openly and honestly what has happened when things go wrong should be encouraged. These valuable reflective experiences help to build resilience, improve wellbeing and deepen professional commitment. 
Our common expectations for reflective practitioners
Engaging in reflection benefits health and care professionals and the multi- professional teams in which they work, or with whom they might discuss aspects of their practice. Key considerations include:
- Demonstrating reflection is part of the information we require for continued registration through our revalidation, continuing professional development or continuing education requirements.
- Ensuring patient confidentiality is vital. Where reflections are recorded, they should be anonymised and focus on learning gain and development rather than the identifiable details of people, the experience, activity or event.
- We will not ask those who are on our registers to provide their personal written reflections in order to investigate a concern about them. Registrants can choose to offer them as evidence of insight into their practice.
How reflection can be more effective
We want to encourage health and care professionals, and their employers, to gain the maximum benefit from investing time and effort in reflection. Components of good reflection often include:
- Professionals who proactively and willingly engage in the practice – making it less of a tick box exercise.
- A systematic and structured approach that aims to draw out learning outcomes has a greater impact. There are many good models of reflective practice and methods that can be used to drive reflection. For example, there may be regular activities that support a team to reflect on their practice, such as debriefs or case reviews. For other health and care professionals, their context of practice may mean that they reflect individually and without an organisational activity to support it.
- Both positive and negative experiences. Any experience, including a conversation with a colleague, a significant clinical or professional event, or a period of time can generate meaningful reflections, insights and learning.
- Involves people who use services, patients, their families and carers in the reflective process, helping professionals to focus on what matters to people using health and social care services.
Building multi-professional teams of reflective practitioners
Reflecting in groups, teams and multi- professional settings is an excellent way to help develop ideas or actions that can improve practice.
- Learning with others builds a collective wisdom through discussion, support and knowledge sharing. Working and learning together increases the likelihood that meaningful and positive change can happen. 
- Care for individuals and service delivery improves when teams and groups are given opportunities to explore and reflect on their work together.These interactions often lead to ideas or actions that improve care 3
- While reflection is personal, it is often informed by the professional standards and duties expected by the different professions and their regulators. When individuals in multi-professional teams reflect together, they should be sensitive to, and respect, the different modes of reflections of their colleagues.
- In many cases there are formal and informal power dynamics that may limit the value and positive power of reflection unless facilitated carefully and respectfully – all views need to be respected and listened to.
- Outputs from team reflective activities may include suggestions or plans to improve care or the service provided. Activities, like case-based discussions, can provide a safe outlet to explore thoughts and feelings triggered by different experiences.
 https://www.pointofcarefoundation.org.uk/our-work/ schwartz-rounds/benefits-of-rounds.
 Tony Ghaye (2007). Building the Reflective Healthcare Organisation. Wiley-Blackwell.
4th March 2020HPV Awareness Day
Today is International HPV Awareness Day. Did you know that HPV is also now one of the leading causes of mouth cancer?
The Oral Health Foundation are raising awareness to improve everybody's understanding of HPV and the devastating effect mouth cancer can have on a person's quality of life. Read more from the Oral Health Foundation:
"HPV is the human papillomavirus. It is extremely common and around 80% of us will have it at some point of our life.
For most of us, the virus will be harmless and have no symptoms, however, for some it can have some serious consequences.
Around 5% of all cancers are caused by HPV. In the UK, this translates to more than 18,000 people every year.
HPV is also now one of the leading causes of mouth cancer.
Mouth cancer can have a devastating effect on a person's quality of life. Our charity has seen this impact first-hand.
That's why we are supporting International HPV Awareness Day.
Our goal is simple - to improve everybody's understanding of HPV.
Throughout the day, we'll be on social media dispelling some of the myths around HPV and giving lots of advice to make more people feel informed.
Give us a 'Follow' and a 'Like' and join in with our conversation. Let's improve awareness of HPV together...."
4th March 2020National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage
The government has announced that nearly 3 million workers are set to benefit from the increases to the National Living Wage (NLW) and minimum wage rates for younger workers. The new NLW rate of £8.72 per hour starts on 1 April 2020 and is said to be the biggest cash increase ever at 6.2% for over 25 years olds. Younger workers who receive the National Minimum Wage (NMW) will also see their pay boosted with increases of between 4.6% and 6.5%.
2020 NMW/NLW rates increases
The National Living Wage (for over 25 year olds) will increase 6.2% to £8.72.
The National Minimum Wage will rise across all age groups, including:
- 6.5% increase to £8.20 for 21-24 year olds
- 4.9% increase to £6.45 for 18-20 year olds
- 4.6% increase to £4.55 for Under 18s
- 6.4% increase to £4.15 for Apprentices
3rd March 2020Coronavirus: infection control
Although the DTA believe that the standards of infection control within the dental sector are amongst the most robust and effective, we suggest that all members review both their formal workplace and personal infection control procedures. For those that are self-employed or business owners, we suggest that this is formally logged and that you encourage your team to read this useful infection control article. We also encourage that you have information available for visitors in your reception areas such as that provided by NHS England (see other useful links below) and take all reasonable precautions to reduce the risk of the spread of Coronavirus.
Protect yourself and others
• Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze.
• Bin the tissue and to kill the germs wash your hands with soap and water, or use a sanitiser gel.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
Latest information and advice is being updated daily at 2pm on the government website.
3rd March 2020DTA Council Elections
The DTA is the voice for dental technologists throughout the UK and together we influence policy and help to shape the future of dental technology by lobbying for professional recognition and continually raising the profile of the profession with decision-makers.
The association is managed by voluntary dental technicians who represent the DTA and the common concerns among our membership at various stakeholder meetings, and keep in touch with the many groups, associations and regulatory bodies within dentistry.
If you're interested in becoming an active DTA Council member, express your interest by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, you could also join us at our next meeting on 14 March to find out more. Further details are on page 6 of The Technologist February issue and you can meet Steve Morris, DTA Council member in the getting to know you feature on page 37.
ELECTION OF MEMBERS TO THE DENTAL TECHNOLOGISTS ASSOCIATION (DTA)
1. Notice is hereby given that an election of three Council Members of the Dental Technologists Association is about to be held.
2. Any Member of the Company is entitled to be nominated as a candidate.
3. Any person entitled to vote may take part in the nomination of any number of candidates not exceeding the number to be elected.
4. Each candidate must be nominated separately by the signatures of not few than three Members of the Company on not more than two nomination papers to be obtained from the Returning Officer; and every nomination paper shall contain the name, registered address and title to registration both of the candidate and of the nominated and will accept office if duly elected.
5.The nomination paper or papers for each candidate must be delivered by hand or by registered post to the Returning Officer on or before the 1st day of May 2020.
5. A nomination in respect of which any of these rules has not been complied with will be invalid.
Rebecca Kinahan, Returning Officer
The Dental Technicians Association
PO Box 1318
2nd March 2020'Safe Brace' a campaign for safe braces
The Oral Health Foundation and British Orthodontic Society launch Safe Brace following a statement published by the General Dental Council (GDC) with regard to providing dental care remotely and stressing the importance of always seeing a trained professional face-to-face when seeking dental treatment. The DTA shared this statement last week urging all members to review procedures to ensure that they are compliant.
The joint campaign aims to provide Brits with a trusted space they can go to for expert advice on getting braces and orthodontic treatment.
27th February 2020Get to know the DTA Council
Active members are invited to join the next DTA council meeting in March.
The DTA is the voice for dental technologists throughout the UK, whether qualified or in training. The association is managed by voluntary dental technicians who represent the DTA and the common concerns among our membership at various stakeholder meetings, and keep in touch with the many groups, associations and regulatory bodies within dentistry. Together we are influencing policy and helping to shape the future of dental technology by lobbying for professional recognition and continually influencing and raising the profile of dental technology with decision-makers.
Since our last update in November, the DTA has been involved in a number of initiatives, including the Advancing Dental Care Review, GDC consultations, such as developing guidance for dental professional managers, the dental professionals’ forum and the development of the GDC principles for regulatory decision-making.
The DTA Council meets at least twice a year to review a number of key items on the agenda and set some actions to focus on for the year ahead. Some exciting projects and announcements came out of the November 2019 meeting, including the DTA education vision that has since been announced.
We welcome active members, so please do consider joining us at our next meeting in March and discover how you can become part of the team.
26th February 2020Scam Warning
Martin Lewis has waned that the UK is being hit by a 'scam epidemic', and is urging people to be vigilant when it comes to things that seem 'too good to be true'. The Money Saving Expert says following a few simple steps can help you avoid the most common scams.
"Today's scammers are sophisticated and dangerous. It can happen to anyone - solicitors, university lecturers, and even the most technologically savvy. We're now exposed to devious scammers across the globe."
Here are Martin's top tips for keeping yourself safe against scams:
- Watch out for search results that say 'advert'. This means they have paid to be there, so be aware of it and continue scrolling.
- HMRC will never text, call or email you about a tax rebate.
- Scammers will always try and persuade you that it's 'urgent' and that you should keep it quiet.
- If 'someone from your bank' contacts you to tell you to move money into another account for security reasons, it's fake.
- If 'your bank' contacts you to tell you it is sending a courier to your home to pick up your card because 'it is fraudulent', it's a scam. If in doubt, cut your card up instead.
- If your passwords have changed without warning, that's a danger sign. You can check if your passwords have been compromised using a 'have I been PWNED' tool.
- If your post has disappeared, contact the person/company in question.
- If your wheelie bin has gone missing, question it.
- If you receive an out-of-the blue message that's full of grammatical errors, be suspicious.
- If you notice an unknown product on your credit file, question it.
25th February 2020GDC publishes results of in-depth public survey
As part of our commitment to using evidence and insight to guide all of our work, we have published the results of our 2018/19 Patient and Public Survey.
The research, which includes both quantitative and qualitative elements and presents the seventh instalment since 2011, examines public attitudes on a range of key issues relating to dentistry and how the professions are regulated.
One key finding reveals public attitudes about where we should focus our attention most. When asked, a greater proportion opted towards prevention rather than taking action once something had gone wrong. The survey found that nearly two- thirds (65%) thought that our focus should be balanced, whilst one in five (22%) said we should focus on prevention, and just 7% thought it should be on taking action in instances of serious complaints. On the subject, one interview participant said: ‘If you’re having to take action, it’s already gone too far ... if you can prevent it from happening, then that’s the best outcome for everybody’.
In relation to how dental professionals are regulated, seven in ten people (73%) were confident that the GDC was effectively regulating dental professionals. Of those who were not confident, the two most commonly cited reasons for this were: that they didn’t know dentists were regulated and that they’d had a bad personal experience of dental care.
The research also found that the proportion of people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds who said they were confident that the GDC is regulating effectively was significantly lower than people from White backgrounds (64% compared with 74%). We are considering further research to understand this more clearly.
A further key finding relates to the cost of dental treatment for patients and how this might impact their expectations. The public were asked for their views on paying for services and care, and whether that influenced their expectations of dentists compared with other healthcare professionals. Although responses were mixed, two in five (39%) either strongly agreed or tended to agree that they expected more from dentists than other healthcare professionals because they pay for treatment.
The 2018/19 Patient and Public Survey was undertaken on behalf of the GDC by Ipsos MORI. The research comprised a survey, in- depth interviews and a deliberative workshop.
24th February 2020GDC Remote Dentistry Statement
The GDC have published a statement with regard to providing dental care remotely. Something that appears to be driven by organisations offering orthodontic appliances which may not include face to face contact with an appropriately qualified GDC registrant. This could have implications beyond orthodontics. The DTA would therefore urge you to review your procedures to ensure that they are compliant if you receive any work directly from patients without face to face contact.
The GDC are calling for further information which might assist with their work:
"We are continuing to gather evidence about the potential risk of harm to patients from ‘direct-to-consumer orthodontics’ and other forms of dental care offered remotely. We have contacted providers of these services to seek clarification on the procedures they follow and how GDC registrants may be involved. In parallel, we continue to welcome further advice and information from the dental professions."
You can send information to email@example.com
21st February 2020The Dental Technology Showcase - Tailored to the profession
The Dental Technology Showcase (DTS) will concentrate on four key themes for 2020, ensuring that it meets the needs of dental technicians and lab owners.
Our educational programme and trade floor will highlight the true value of digital innovations from 3D printers to CAM/CAM technologies.
We aim to inspire the next generation of dental technicians so that we can support and help to build a strong future for the profession.
Indoor air quality
We’ll look at how the safety of dental technicians can be optimised with solutions designed to improve air quality in the lab.
To make more technologies more affordable for more people, we have partnered with MediFinance to offer payment plans on a wide range of solutions.
DTS 2020 – Friday 15 & Saturday 16 May – NEC in Birmingham, co-located with the British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show. Visit www.the-dts.co.uk, call 020 7348 5270 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
18th February 2020A wealth of information at the click of your mouse
As a DTA member, have you taken advantage of the wealth of information found in the ‘Useful articles’ section of the members’ area of DTA’s website?
There are literally hundreds of articles, published in previous editions of The Technologist (TT) that date back to 2009 on topics covering the whole spectrum of your core CPD criteria. From dental laboratory tailored HR advice from our regular ‘expert’, Richard Mander, to infection control best practice guidance from Rebecca Taylor, Professor of Microbiology at the School of Healthcare Science, Manchester Metropolitan University.
Refresh your knowledge of digital taxation and pensions, evaluate the ethical aspects of your professional approach with an array of articles from safeguarding and complaints, to honesty, and of course, review the hundreds of technical features, including prosthetics, C&B, orthodontic digital, and so much more.
Explore the members area of the DTA website now.
12th February 2020Coronavirus (COVID-19): latest information and advice
Information for the public on the outbreak of coronavirus in China, including the current situation in the UK and information about the virus and its symptoms is being updated daily at 2pm on the government website.
It has been reported that nine patients in England have tested positive for coronavirus. The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, has announced “regulations have been put in place to reduce the risk of further human-to-human transmission in this country by keeping individuals in isolation where public health professionals believe there is a reasonable risk an individual may have the virus.”
The Chief Medical Office for England has issued advice in conjunction with National Infection Service and National Medical Director.
“It is essential that an accurate travel history is obtained from all patients with acute respiratory infections to help identify potential cases.
We are now recommending that all travellers who develop relevant symptoms, however mild, within 14 days of returning from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau should self-isolate at home immediately and call NHS 111. We are already recommending that travellers from Wuhan and Hubei Province should self-isolate for 14 days, even if they do not have symptoms, due to the increased risk from that area.
Primary care practices are asked to identify possible cases, isolate them immediately, and ask the patient to call NHS111 from their mobile (or GP landline if a mobile is unavailable). Primary care settings are not expected to undertake any clinical assessment or sampling. Guidance for primary care can be found here.”
Daily update from the Department of Health and Social Care daily update
Guidance for primary care
letter from NHSE/I
Guidance from Public Health England on how to identify and manage a suspected case of 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease
6th February 2020DTA Response to Illegal Manufacturing of Dental Appliances
The DTA has worked hard to ensure that there’s a ‘level playing’ field in terms of compliance with the MDD, MDR and indeed all other regulations. Something that relates not just to the importation of dental appliances but also the in-clinic manufacture of anything from a whitening tray to a crown. This has involved high profile activities, such as instigating the Kingsholm Group in harmony with other key stakeholders along with informative articles for our members. But perhaps even more importantly a constant stream of behind the scenes lobbying against illegal practice with the regulatory authorities. Something that we cannot always share, but regardless the DTA is always fighting against illegal activity.
As ever the best way of making our voice heard is to represent the broadest coalition of Dental Technicians. So we urge all Dental Technicians to consider joining the DTA, the professional organisation for all Dental Technicians.
Help us to promote professional dental technology by sharing the DTA article ‘In-clinic manufacturing of Custom Made Dental Devices’ to all dental professionals.
28th January 2020The GDC Publish their Costed Corporate Plan 2020
The plan has been published as part of their new approach to strategic planning and, alongside the Corporate Strategy 2020-2022: Right time, right place, right touch, promotes a greater understanding of the relationship between their regulatory activity and fees.
The Costed Corporate Plan 2020 includes detailed work programme, set out across their five strategic aims and their overall approach is captured by our strategy’s title:
- Right time: illustrates our focus on developing our approach to upstream regulation.
- Right place: reflects our work to support issues resolution by the correct organisation and to promote local complaint resolution, wherever possible.
- Right touch: highlights our commitment to ensuring our enforcement activity and decision-making is evidence based and proportionate.
View the GDC Costed Corporate Plan 2020 on their website.
24th January 2020MDR Brexit Update from MHRA
On the 23 January 2020 the MHRA published some new information on how to prepare for Brexit stating that their role in regulating medical devices remains integral and preparations to implement proposed new Regulations for Medical Devices continue.
“Following the outcome of the EU referendum, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is working closely with the Government to analyse the best options and opportunities available for the safe and effective regulation of medicines and medical devices in the UK.
While negotiations continue, the UK remains a full and active member of the EU, with all the rights and obligations of EU membership firmly in place. Working with our partners, stakeholders and customers, our focus remains: protecting health and improving lives.”
Read more on the government website.
17th January 2020The GDC announce the launch of a pilot for changes to the Rule 4 stage of the Fitness to Practise process
On 16 January the GDC announced the launch of a pilot for changes to the Rule 4 stage of the Fitness to Practise process. The pilot has been introduced in response to feedback from dental professionals and their representatives consulted last year.
The Rule 4 stage allows for dental professions to submit their comments or observations in response to the concern that has been raised about them. Dental professionals subject to investigations do not have to provide observations, but most do.
The changes being piloted will allow dental professions, who are subject to fitness to practise investigations, to request a 14-day extension to the current 28-day time limit to submit their observations. Further, the GDC will be disclosing the clinical assessment when it is received, to assist with the formulation of detailed and informed observations.
The changes are only being applied in clinical cases of a certain type. The criteria for case inclusion in the pilot can be found on the GDC website.
GDC Executive Director, Fitness to Practise Transition, Tom Scott, said:
“We understand, and are sympathetic to, the time pressures faced by dental professionals and their representatives in the fitness to practise process. Extending the time frame in certain cases to ensure we receive the best possible evidence aligns with our view that we need to be fully informed of all relevant facts as early as possible.”
The GDC say that "Although the proposals were met with overall support, we also saw calls for the extension to apply to all cases and not just those of a clinical nature. However, in addition to enabling a measurable and well-defined pilot, we also need to consider impact on patient safety and timeliness of case progression. Therefore, at least for the pilot, the extension will remain focused on single patient clinical concerns. It’s also important to note that the pilot is complementary to the existing arrangements for extensions."
The GDC consultation outcome report is on their website.
23rd December 2019New report into state of oral health in care homes
A new report into state of oral health in care homes explores the barriers that prevent good oral hygiene. Time and lack of resources have been found to be one of the major factors in causing poor oral health in care homes.
To date, 52.3 per cent of Wales 650 care homes have been targeted to participate in the programme. Participants receive training and support in delivering a high standard of oral care.
21st December 2019Adjusting to new technologies
The modern dental laboratory is almost unrecognisable from the same environment of ten years ago. With digital innovations becoming the norm, changes in workflows and technology have reformed the way that these businesses work.
However, unlike technology – which continues to update and improve – people cannot learn in an instant, and therefore adjusting to the digital age and any new systems can bring some difficulty. As such, it’s worthwhile exploring options that can help technicians to embrace these systems and workflows so that your laboratory can continue to innovate and look to the future.
A tricky transition
In many ways it seems odd that changing systems within the workplace can cause problems for people, especially as new technology tends to come with so many benefits. The reason behind this is likely due to emotions.
There are a number of ways that people react to change. Whilst some emotions, such as excitement, can be beneficial, there are also inevitable feelings such as threat, fear and anxiety that may cause people to react badly to any new systems or technology.
Try before you buy
As with all innovations, digital technologies have a learning curve that is necessary for technicians to master. Every system is unique, and equipment such as a new milling machine or a new design software can take time to truly get to grips with.
This raises the quandary of how to ensure that the technology you invest in will be they aren’t fitting in well with your workflows. This is the perfect opportunity to experiment with different options, finding one that suits the majority of your team. This may delay the process at first; however, it will be worth it in the long run if it keeps your team motivated and doesn’t cause them constant frustration.
Once you have settled on a piece of equipment, it’s also worthwhile seeing whether the manufacturer hosts any training courses related to how the technologies work. These courses are a fantastic way to quickly master the basic functions of any new design software or milling machines, and also ensure that every team member understands the equipment fully, allowing them to start using it right away without any guesswork.
Demonstrate the benefits
It’s likely that one of the biggest hurdles you’ll have to overcome when introducing new technology is the pervasive attitude that the old system was somehow better.
One way to overcome this is to demonstrate the benefits of the system to them in person. If training courses for the equipment are not readily available, it makes sense to show people the capabilities of the system and how these will directly benefit them. Does the new milling machine have the capability to work with new materials?
Or does the new design software have more powerful CAD/CAM tools to help improve design accuracy? By pointing out how these features can help make things easier for your team, they are likely to be far more accepting, even if they have been using the previous equipment for years.
A two-way technological relationship
Of course, one way to ensure that your team continues to benefit from new technology is to ensure that the equipment used by collaborating dentists is compatible. Technicians know how frustrating it is to have to find new design software to cope with the different file types sent by various digital intraoral scanners, and therefore it’s worth recommending open systems to dentists such as the CS 3600 from Carestream Dental.
As this scanner sends files in an open STL format, this means that technicians can use the design software of their choice, so you won’t have to continuously introduce new systems and go through the learning curve each time.
A learning process
Investing in new systems is always going to cause some difficulties in the time it takes for staff to adapt to them. However, by seeking out training courses, demonstrating the benefits of new systems and encouraging dentists to choose technology which means that new systems will not have to be invested in often, you can help your team to embrace new solutions quickly and, most importantly, start to get the most out of them straight away.
For more information,
contact Carestream Dental on 0800 169 9692 or visit www.carestreamdental.co.uk
By David, at Carestream Dental
19th December 2019'Sugar overload' warning for festive hot drinks
A study has found that some of the most popular seasonal drinks, including lattes and hot chocolates, sold by some High Street coffee chains, can contain up to 23 spoonfuls of sugar per cup.
Action on Sugar, which analysed more than 200 drinks, said consumers may be unknowingly opting for extra sugar because of a lack of labelling and the perception vegan options were healthier, when actually some shops used pre-sweetened alternatives to cow's milk.
The most shocking finding from the study was the amount of sugar in the "venti" (a pint) Starbucks Signature Caramel Hot Chocolate made with oat milk but topped with whipped cream.
It contains 23 teaspoons (93.7g) of sugar and 758 calories, which Action on Sugar says is as much as three cans of Coca-Cola or four white chocolate and strawberry muffins.
18th December 2019Brushing teeth three times a day could reduce risk of heart failure, claims study
An article published by The Independent explores the impact of brushing your teeth three times a day. A new study has claimed that brushing your teeth more than twice a day could reduce your risk of suffering heart failure by more than 10 per cent.
The study, which was published in journal European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, found that three per cent of the individuals developed atrial fibrillation over the course of the study, while approximately five per cent experienced heart failure.
However, scientists say the study has its limitations and that it is 'too early to recommend tooth brushing for prevention of heart failure', as more research is needed. - The Independent.
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