28th May 2020Are dental technologists preparing to get back to work?
Some DTA members are starting to receive requests from private practices to reopen and provide custom-made dental devices. There are a number of things to consider before you reopen and the DTA highlight below some steps for consideration. You do need to take a professional approach and consider your own particular situation.
1. Government and regulatory guidance
You must continue to follow government guidelines to protect yourself and others, alongside the guidance given by the General Dental Council (GDC), the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and the Chief Dental Officer (CDO) of your nation. Each nation is working to a different plan for the reopening of NHS dental services. Scotland and wales have recently announced a phased return, read more here, and England has released a Prompt to Prepare. We await further announcements from Northern Ireland.
2. Individuals and reducing local risks
Individual dental technologists do need to consider their own, and their family’s potential risks. The current government guidance related to any signs of COVID-19 symptoms and how to self-isolate yourself and other family members should be taken into account. If you are no longer furloughed your employer is likely expecting your to return to work and that needs careful discussion.
3. How much work are you likely to receive and is it financially viable to reopen?
Dental Laboratory owners/managers do need to consider a range of business factors. This will likely include ‘Do you receive work from NHS, private, or mixed?’ This is relevant for the guidance they each receive at present and what parties need to adhere to, which will in turn, therefore determine when you will likely receive work from these clinics.
The British Dental Association (BDA) have advised, on their website as at 28-05-2020, that:
“NHS practices are expected to follow the advice produced by NHS England and the Office of the CDO as to how they approach treating patients under any phased return to practise. Private practices are free to determine how they provide care to patients.”
The Care Quality Commission Statement on their website offers further guidance:
“The decision to offer dental care services is one for the provider to take. Alongside guidance given by Public Heath England (PHE) and the General Dental Council (GDC), CQC encourage dental providers to give proper consideration to the communications from the Chief Dental Officer (CDO) regardless of whether their practice is NHS, private, or mixed.”
4. Are you prepared to reopen?
The DTA has produced a Dental Laboratory Crisis Management Pack which will be included in an emailed to all DTA members as part of the June update on 29/05/2020 to help prepare for businesses to operate once again when it is safe to do so. The pack includes: Dental Laboratory Disaster Recovery Planning, Standard Operating Procedures and template, Risk Assessment in the Workplace and template. These documents should form part of your or your employers/managers regular business documentation and they might already be in place; however, they will need to be reviewed and updated before you reopen. Two major considerations should be (i) the training for all in any updated disinfection operating procedures, and also appropriate Personal Protective Equipment use and disposal, and (ii) the transport of items between the clinic and the dental laboratory and the DTA offer this Dental Laboratory collection and delivery related to infection control document.
5. Are your various insurance policies valid?
Laboratory owners/managers will need to update their business insurance policies. Each individual dental technologist will need to check for example that their professional indemnity insurance policies are valid before returning to work as dental technologist or clinical dental technologist.
6. Once the above five steps (as a minimum) have been considered and implemented.
It is for each individual dental laboratory owner/manager to review their personal circumstances and decide if it is deemed safe and economically viable to reopen and start accepting work from clients.
28th May 2020Prompt to Prepare for the resumption of routine dental care in England
Sara Hurley, Chief Dental Officer England has issued a Prompt to Prepare Statement and supporting document for the resumption of routine dental care practices. The document includes no timescales and the current advice of the Chief Dental Officers (which the GDC requires all registrants to take into account) remains that:
- Routine dental care is not to be provided
- Urgent dental needs should predominantly be managed by phone with appropriate advice and prescriptions
- Aerosol Generating Procedures should not be undertaken outside of Urgent Dental Care centres
The phased return to dental practice and the significantly reduced service and footfall indicate that it may still be some time before dental laboratories start to receive work. However, some laboratories have been approached by private practices to provide work. The BDA have advised that:
"NHS practices are expected to follow the advice produced by NHS England and the Office of the CDO as to how they approach treating patients under any phased return to practise. Private practices are free to determine how they provide care to patients, with the GDC and CQC clear that they have no powers to intervene unless there has been a clear breach of regulations."
The DTA guidance is in line with the Chief Dental Officers of each nation, however it is for each individual dental laboratory to review and decide if they deem it safe to accept work from private practices. Dental laboratories should prepare and only reopen when they have implemented risk assessments and updated standard operating procedures to ensure safety of workers and clients. The DTA will be emailing the Dental Laboratory Crisis Management Pack to all members which indudes a risk assessment and SOP template. All dental technicians should check that their business insurance policies and professional indemnity insurance are valid.
27th May 2020Sara Hurley's Opinion Piece
Sara Hurley, CDO Endland Why re-invent the wheel if you've run out of road? opinion piece in the British Dental Journal talks about the opportunity for a profound change in oral healthcare experience for patients and our profession.
26th May 2020COVID-19: DTA Collective Working on a Roadmap to Recovery for Dental Work
Summary May 2020
The DTA are working collectively with the Office of the Chief Dental Officer England, Faculty of Dental Surgeons Royal College of Surgeons England, Faculty of General Dental Practitioners (UK), General Dental Association, British Dental Association and other groups to support the desire to see the reopening of dental practices for face to face care in England. The group are actively seeking to achieve this at the earliest safe opportunity. The benefits to patients and the wider community of receiving oral health care from a trusted well regulated and responsible profession are recognised and are intrinsic to the discussions about the graduated expansion of service delivery.
The DTA has also input into the workforce planning discussions for all four nations and in addition had the opportunity to review and input on the a high-level paper describing the phases for Scotland. We are in continued liaisons with other groups and we are raising the concerns of our membership at any opportunity.
Below is intended to provide an update summary.
A lot of activity and work being done to find a route back to dental care including discussions raising the concerns around Aerosol Generating Procedures (AGPs) where viruses from the patient can, it is suggested, be dispersed into the air and settle on surfaces or be inhaled in by workers. A return to dental clinical work with patients is initially looking at non-AGP work only and worldwide information and evidence is being utilised to provide guidance. It is suggested that dentistry will be very different for some time to come e.g. ‘waiting room chairs should be spaced apart and it is recommended appointments with different clinicians are staggered so multiple patients are not congregating in the waiting room, whilst the use of appropriate PPE is essential’. The regular washing of hands by a prescribed method is essential and all colleagues need to be trained in this method with training maintained, watch this NHS video.
The Faculty of Dental Practice (FGDP) at the Royal College of Surgeons of England have development a wealth of general guidance related to other forms of clinical dental practice, and thus they have been working to support the Chief Dental Officer (CDO) of England around the Covid-19 virus. The Royal College of Surgeons (Edinburgh) (RCS-Ed) has been undertaking such for the CDO of Scotland. A new Dentist based organisation has recently come on the scene from April 2020 called the British Association of Private Dentistry (BAPD), and there are suggestions that the initiators appear have come from the Association of Cosmetic Dentistry, and that BAPD will rival the BDA. The BADP have sort to engage with the various DCP groups by digital means e.g. Zoom and to in some way create their own DCP membership of BAPD, although the benefits of such are not clear. The CDO England Ms Sara Hurley hosted a DCP seminar to invited groups on 22-05-2020 via Microsoft Teams, and DTA took part and also provided in advance five questions that DTA wanted answers to. Although these and other participants questions were not fully answered during the seminar, the DTA requested that the CDO office provide answers or guidance. A video of the one and a half hour CDO session and a transcript is said to be going to be made available soon. The FGDP have current information on their website which links to further information sources. There is a vast amount of guidance being produced by Governments to support workers e.g. ‘Guidance for people working in, visiting or delivering to other people's homes’ which could be useful for other scenarios too. The BAPD have encouraged two DCPs to work with them with the FGDP on the return to practice pathway for the CDO England, whilst the Chief Dental Officer for Scotland has invited the DTA to provide a named individual to work on their activities.
The work continues to create safe dental care activities for registrants and patients. Currently everyone should continue to reduce the risks associated with their daily activities to the lowest reasonably practicable level by taking positive preventative measures.
22nd May 2020Scotland & Wales: Pathway for a return to dental practice
The CDOs for Scotland and Wales have released plans for the reopening of NHS dental services. The DTA are working collectively with the Chief Dental Officer England and other groups towards the reopening of dental practices for face to face care in England.
The phased return to dental practice in Scotland and Wales is detailed below and the steps indicate it may be some time before dental laboratories start to see work coming through the doors:
Read the full letter Remobilisation of NHS Dental Services in Scotland from Tom Ferris, the CDO Scotland, which details the following phases:
- Phase 1 involves increasing the capacity of the Urgent Dental Care Centres. The UDCCs are currently treating patients with urgent dental care needs, but the centres should now grow their capacity to increase the range of treatments available to patients.
- Phase 2 will see NHS practices start to see patients, initially for consultations using non-aerosol generating procedures (AGPs), and later for routine care – including examination and treatment – that can also be provided using non-AGPs. There is no precise timeline for Phase 2, though the Scottish Government expects to have made some progress by 31 July, with consultations available in every practice by then.
- Phase 3 will involve a limited introduction of AGPs to dental practices, depending on risk and mitigation. There is no timescale yet for this phase.
The Scottish Government have published a four-phase route map through and out of the COVID-19 crisis. Dentistry is mentioned on pages 23, 25, 27, and in the graphic on page 44 of this document.
Read the full letter from Colette Bridgman, Chief Dental Officer Wales in which it states:
In the staged return from the Red Alert status, we will support practices with NHS contracts to 90% of their ACV in return for the following:
- All practices with NHS contracts will open for more than remote telephone contact and urgent care from 1 July 2020;
- All practices and staff will observe the COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) attached to this letter;
- All NHS patients in the ‘practice population’ will receive one Assessment of Clinical Oral Risk and Need (ACORN) before 31 March 2021 in phases according to need (caveated by wider context);
- All patients will receive the appropriate level of evidence-based preventive intervention and care, based on their need (ACORN findings);
- All patients will receive any necessary non-AGPs (undertaken in accordance with the SOPs);
- All patients requiring urgent and non-urgent AGPs will continue to be referred to the Urgent Dental Centres or designated dental practices for treatment (this will be kept under review in accordance with the national COVID-19 response); and
- That all staff (e.g. associate dentists and dental care professionals) who deliver NHS care, will be retained and their pay will be protected at previous levels to reflect their NHS work.
20th May 2020Annual Retention Fee (ARF) Statement from the GDC
The GDC have sent the following message to all dental professionals on the GDC register this morning regarding their decision not to make changes to the ARF levels or to introduce a payment scheme.
Message from the Chair of the GDC:
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant effect on our lives. I am very aware that the effect of the suspension of routine dental care and services is severe and that it has prevented you providing the patient treatment and care you want to - and in some cases has caused financial difficulties. We have been asked whether the GDC could respond by making changes to the Annual Retention Fee (ARF) paid by all dental professionals or by introducing an emergency payment by instalments scheme.
The Council has thought carefully about the options available to us, but we have decided not to make changes to the ARF levels or to introduce a payment scheme. These are not decisions we have taken lightly, and I know they won’t be welcomed by some of those we regulate, so I want to be clear about the reasons why we have made them.
The work we have to do, which is laid down in law, has not fundamentally changed. We are required to remain financially stable and to meet our statutory obligations to ensure the public are protected and confidence in the professions is maintained.
Nearly all our incomes comes from the ARF collection. By revising our regulatory approach and increasing our efficiency, we have been able to secure greater value for money and reduce the ARF - and we hope to continue along this path. But we don't want to make changes now that we can't sustain, and which might lead to inefficiency and increased costs in the future. We are looking hard at the way we deliver our services, both during the current emergency and beyond. One example of that is that we have rapidly developed ways of running hearings remotely. That could eventually lead to a permanent reduction in our costs, and if it does, that reduction will be reflected in the fees we charge in future.
For the time being though, significant uncertainty remains about the months ahead and it is just too early to predict what is going to happen - to the sector as a whole or to the GDC. So, it would be imprudent to make changes which might not be sustainable, or which have the potential to add further risks or cost to what we do.
In looking at the options available to us, we were also aware that even changes with very significant negative impacts on the GDC would make only a small difference to the level of the ARF. Only the government is in a position to provide financial support to the professions and they have chosen to do so both through NHS contract arrangements and by more general support to employers and businesses. I am very aware that the benefits of that have been felt unevenly, particularly by those outside the scope of NHS contract support, but the level of the ARF is not an effective way of addressing that issue.
I very much want to see a return to healthy, safe and successful dental services, as I know you do too and I look forward to your being able once again to offer your patients the full range of care and treatment they need.
Dr William Moyes
Chair, General Dental Council
19th May 2020Keeping safe
Following the government's advice on Coronavirus (COVID-19), the UK has now been in 'essential lockdown' since 23rd March 2020. There are some concessions that allow essential and key work to continue and a gradual return of some areas.
An informed professional judgement is required from the dental technologist about the state and needs of the potential client user, always taking into consideration the current NHS advice:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
- use the online guidance and assessment https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/ If your symptoms are mild, you'll usually be advised to not leave your home for at least 7 days.
- Anyone you live with should not leave your home for 14 days.
In all other circumstances, you must remain insured to provide essential dental technology services in line with your GDC registration, but you are also expected to exercise the highest professional judgement before a decision is taken to provide dental laboratory services.
Because of the national and international actions taken to slow the pandemic and the possible overwhelming of the NHS and the measures taken by everyone to slow the spread of the Coronavirus, it must be a high bar that is used to judge the provision of key support services from a dental technologist.
Other healthcare professionals have sort to provide guidance and we here provide two modified question for dental technology:
- How likely is it that failure to provide treatment to this client will likely stretch precious NHS resource further and unnecessarily?
- Is the risk to the clients’ health of no treatment greater than the risk of them potentially contracting COVID-19?
The advice that applies in this message is likely to remain in place for the duration of the government-imposed ‘lockdown’ and the gradual road map to future provision. The situation will be reviewed continually and advice may change in response to new advice from the Government.
Clients that you are concerned about should be regularly contacted by telephone to discuss the concerns they may have and to liaise with them. For those customers seeking direct denture repairs, it may be possible to give advice on self-care measures over the telephone and to reassess the urgency of such needs. You should essentially consider the risk to your own health and that of your family.
We know that this is a difficult time for everyone and that to stay well is essential. Therefore, please follow the government guidelines for everyone's safety.
15th May 2020DTA elections 2020 - welcome
The successful nominees of the May 2020 DTA Council Elections are Tony Griffin, Delroy Reeves and Joanne Stevenson.
The nominees have accepted the position on Council and we thank Delroy Reeves and Tony Griffin as returning Council members for their dedication and support moving the Association forward.
We are delighted to welcome new Council member, Joanne Stevenson to the DTA Management Team. Joanne has been a prosthetics technician for 30 years and has been a member of the DTA since she was a student. Joanne recently wrote an article for the DTA ‘Benefits of the duplicate denture technique’ which was published in the May issue of The Technologist. The DTA Council welcome Joanne’s active involvement moving forward.
13th May 2020Self-employed claim scheme is open
The self-employed have been invited by HMRC to get ready to make their claims for coronavirus support.
Those who are eligible will be able to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their average trading profits up to a maximum of £7,500 (equivalent to three months’ profits), paid in a single instalment. The claims service opens today (13 May).
Be aware of scams, these schemes are only available through the government website.
12th May 2020Furlough scheme to be extended
The Chancellor has announced that the Government’s Job Retention Scheme will continue until the end of October; allowing furloughed workers to receive 80 per cent of their current salary, up to a ceiling of £2,500 per month. In addition, from the start of August, furloughed workers will be able to return to work part-time with employers being asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of their furloughed staff.
11th May 2020Update from Chief Dental Officer England
Yesterday evening (10 May 2020) the Prime Minister announced the conditional plan to ease restrictions. All dental guidance and Standard Operating Procedures currently in force remain unchanged. The temporary cessation of routine dentistry addresses the safety of patients and of dental teams as well as supporting the public health measures required to slow community transmission of COVID-19. This advice has not changed.
Office of the Chief Dental Officer England
NHS England and NHS Improvement
11th May 2020Latest Government Announcement
The UK government will soon publish a guidance document with detail on how England will begin lifting lockdown measures following the announcement Prime Minister Boris Johnson made to the nation on Sunday.
The announcement raised many questions, particularly in relation to the impacts on our profession and we will update DTA members via the News Page as information becomes available. As it stands however, there appears to be no change for dental laboratories and the dental profession as a whole. The BDA have released a statement advising that “there have been no indications that the frameworks for the provision of dental care across the four UK countries has changed.”
“…practices are still to treat initially via advice, analgesics and antibiotics where appropriate, and to triage care into the various urgent care systems.”
The DTA are reviewing new information that is being released, including discussions from dental professionals and the importance of employers creating a safe working environment.
The DTA will soon be publishing a Crisis Management Pack which will be shared with DTA members via email to help prepare to operate once again when it is safe to do so.
10th May 2020DTS 2020 – working together for better dentistry
Whether you are a dental technician, clinical dental technician, orthodontic technician or lab owner, The Dental Technology Showcase (DTS) 2020 has you covered.
There will be two-days of education tailored to each area of the profession. A particular focus will be placed on digital technologies in order to help delegates enhance their workflows. There will even be bespoke payment plans available through show partner MediFinance, making it easier for lab owners to invest in the solutions they need to drive their businesses forward.
What’s more, there will be thousands of professionals in attendance, from fellow lab colleagues to dentists and trade representatives, encouraging improved collaboration and stronger professional relationships. After all, we work better together. Don’t miss out!
DTS 2020 – Friday 11th and Saturday 12th September–Hall 5, Birmingham NEC, co-located with the British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show. Register for free online. www.the-dts.co.uk, 020 7348 5270, firstname.lastname@example.org
6th May 2020Have you met your CPD requirements?
If you’re short of hours, please act now to ensure you meet the minimum CPD requirements. Remember, you must have completed 10 CPD hours over the last two years before the end of the CPD year on 31 July.
Dental technicians need to complete a minimum of 50 hours of verifiable CPD every five years. Clinical dental technicians need to complete a minimum of 75 hours of verifiable CPD. The CPD cycle runs from 1 August to 31 July and we recommend that you complete at least 10 hours per cycle year for dental technicians or 15 hours for CDTs. If for any reason you are unable to complete these recommended hours during a cycle year, you can submit less, or zero; however, you need to complete a minimum of 10 hours of CPD during each period of two consecutive years.
When you declare your CPD hours to the GDC you do not need to submit your CPD certificates, but you will need to retain them all and keep them in a safe place in case the GDC requests that you submit them. We recommend that you print your logbook and all your certificates at the end of each cycle year.
Why not use some downtime to catch up or even get ahead on your CPD requirements? The DTA offers our members over 20 hours of verifiable CPD each year that provides lifelong learning specific to dental technicians’ needs and including core subjects. Our editorial team is working diligently to ensure that the CPD meets the GDC’s quality criteria. If you are behind on your CPD, there are lots of online opportunities you can access whilst isolating at home. If you find something you feel is really worthwhile, please share it on our social media platforms so colleagues can be made aware.
4th May 2020The government seek to restore people's lives to "as close to normal as possible”
The government seek to restore people's lives to "as close to normal as possible” but state that the worst thing they could do now is ease up too soon and allow a second peak of coronavirus.
On Sunday 3 May, it was again reported that some social distancing measures would remain in place until a vaccine has been developed. The timeframe for this is still unknown however the government’s chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, has previously suggested that the prospect of having a vaccine available this year is incredibly small.
Consultations have been taking place to establish a strategy to reopen selected areas of the economy and Boris Johnson is expected to outline full details of how the UK will exit lockdown on Sunday 10 May. However, Boris has stressed that the UK would only be able to move on to the second phase when the government's five tests had been met. The five tests previously annouced are detailed below.
For now, we must continue to Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives
Test one: Making sure the NHS can cope
Test two: A 'sustained and consistent' fall in the daily death rate
Test three: Rate of infection decreasing to 'manageable levels'
Fourth test: Ensuring supply of tests and PPE can meet future demand
Fifth test: Being confident any adjustments would not risk a second peak
3rd May 2020DTA Appoint New President
The Dental Technologists Association (DTA) is delighted to announce that Barry Tivey has been appointed as President.
As my two-year term in office as the DTA President draws to a close, I hand over the baton to Barry Tivey, who has been a DTA Council member since 2018. Barry has many years of experience, having qualified as a dental technician some 30 years ago and in 2015, completed an MSc in Dental Technology at Cardiff Metropolitan University. Based in the West Midlands, Barry is the owner of a crown/bridge and implant laboratory. On accepting the presidency role, Barry said:
‘I believe the DTA provides vital support and resources to members and represents the needs of all dental technologists throughout the UK, whether fully qualified professionals or still in training. DTA aims to highlight the key issues and concerns of our profession to the people that can implement change. I like to give 100% to anything I take on and I hope to be able to contribute to the success of the Association and continue the strong leadership that has been expertly steered by Delroy over the past two years.’
Personally, and on behalf of the DTA team, I welcome Barry to the role of DTA President and look forward to working closely with him as his deputy. At this point, I would also like to express my thanks to Adrian Rollings, who has been my deputy over the past year. His contribution and support have been invaluable to both me and the DTA and we look forward to his continued active involvement on the DTA Council. - Delroy Reeves
2nd May 2020Coronavirus - support and resources for employers and employees
1st May 2020GDC Dental Complaints Service Review 2019 and research reports published
Yesterday, the GDC published three reports, all relating to the Dental Complaints Service (DCS).
The reports, which consider the performance, efficacy and social value offered by the DCS - the free and impartial private dental care complaints resolution service - are:
• The DCS Review 2019
• Research report: Social Return on Investment of the DCS
• Research report: DCS Survey of Dental Professional Users
1st May 2020Dental technicians helping to protect our NHS
With a shortage of personal protective equipment for medical workers on the front-line battling against coronavirus, it’s incredibly heart-warming and inspiring to hear how our profession, and our DTA members, are utilising their equipment and giving up their time to make PPE for those on the front-line.
A number of dental laboratories have repurposed their 3D printers to manufacture full-face visors, N95 masks and respirators to donate to the NHS. We have also been hearing how many of our members have been volunteering to support the vulnerable in their local communities.
We would like to share more of your positive news stories. Email email@example.com and tell us what you have been doing to support others during this challenging time.
1st May 2020Medical Devices Regulation (MDR) postponed to 2021
The MDR should have been fully in force on 26th May 2020, but the EU legislators have postponed the entry into force of the new Medical Devices Regulation for one year due to the world Covid-19 pandemic.
The UK government will need to decide whether to adopt UK legislation identical to the MDR or to develop similar legislation due to the new implementation date for MDR falling after when the UK is planned to be separated from European legislation.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is the competent authority within the UK which is responsible for ensuring that medicines and medical devices work and are acceptably safe. The Dental Laboratory industry has been compliant with the Medical Devices Directive (93/42/EEC) since its introduction and the Medical Devices Regulations ((EU) 2017/745) are more comprehensive and demand further actions from manufacturers.
Read the round-up article in the May 2020 issue of The Technologist and keep an eye our for more next month.
30th April 2020Don't let your professional indemnity insurance lapse
We previously published an article in the February 2020 issue of The Technologist highlighting the importance of having the correct indemnity insurance in place. We understand that it might be tempting not to renew your insurance policy while you are currently unable to work due to the restrictions put in place by the government as a result of COVID-19, however we stress the importance of keeping your policy active and up-to-date.
Many of our members will have an indemnity insurance policy through UK Special Risks, the DTA preferred supplier, and their policy states:
“Due to the special nature of the separate Legal Expenses Package, it being designed to cover defence costs at GDC fitness to practice hearing, run-off cover for late discovery of claims does not apply to this part of the scheme should you cancel the Dental Technician Indemnity policy.”
We believe this to mean that if you cancel your policy during the current restrictions you are then not covered for support if you have a problem that occurred from a previous period.
29th April 2020Stay alert to scammers
We cannot express enough the importance of staying alert to scammers during this time. HSBC have published a detailed Fraud Guide to raise awareness of the different ways criminals may try to steal not just your money but also your company’s identity. In case you missed it...
We previously published an article including detailed steps to help protect yourself from fraud. The government are warning the public to be extra vigilant and be wary of scams related to coronavirus. They state that you can only access government schemes through the GOV.UK website. 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. Stay safe.
28th April 2020Apprenticeship programme response to COVID-19
The government have published version 3 of their guidance for apprentices and employers. View here
27th April 2020Furlough leave: the HMRC Job Retention Scheme
ACAS have released two new dates (and more to follow) for their free webinar which explains HMRC's scheme for employers who have furloughed their workers, or who are planning to. You can also watch previous webinar recordings.
Included in the webinar:
- who can claim
- what can be claimed, and what's excluded
- maternity leave considerations
- National Minimum Wage considerations
- effects on holiday entitlement
- selecting employees for furlough and gaining agreement
- shielding and furlough
Tuesday 5 May - 10.30am-11.30am
Thursday 7 May - 2pm - 3pm
24th April 2020Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
The government have updated their guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme including finding out if you’re eligible and how much you can claim to cover wages for employees on temporary leave, how to claim for 80% of your employee’s wages plus any employer National Insurance and pension contributions and how and when to report employees' wages to HMRC using the PAYE Real Time Information system.
To use the scheme, the steps you’ll need to take are:
- Check if you can claim.
- Calculate 80% of your employees’ wages.
- Claim for your employees’ wages online - the service should be simple to use and any support you need available on GOV.UK.
- Report a payment in PAYE Real Time Information.
Read more on the government website.
23rd April 2020NHS England Covid-19 Dental Services Webinar
Chief Dental Officer Sara Hurley and Director of Primary Care and System Transformation Matt Neligan invite oral health professionals to a webinar on Covid-19 which will take place on Friday 24 April, 4 - 4.45pm
Connect shortly before it starts using:
Due to numbers colleagues will be unable to speak however comments/questions can be submitted via the chat function.
17th April 2020Important information for employers with apprentices
The government have issued coronavirus guidance for apprentices and employers and Education and Skills Funding Agency have published a video that shows employers how to use pause & stop in the apprenticeship service to record a break in learning.
The video takes employers through the new measures relating to breaks in learning that were recently detailed in the apprenticeship programme response to COVID-19 document. It also describe why you might want to pause or stop an apprentice record in the apprenticeship service, and how to do it.
16th April 2020Coronavirus: Three-week lockdown extension
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced today the government has decided that the current measures must remain in place for at least the next three weeks. Easing restrictions now will be damaging for public health, the economy and will prolong restrictions.
The five things Government needs to see to lift lockdown measures include:
- Ensuring the UK can provide sufficient critical care and specialist treatment
- The Government needs to see a "sustained and consistent" drop in the daily death rates from coronavirus
- Data from Sage showing that the rate of infection is decreasing to manageable levels across the board
- Ensuring testing capacity and PPE are "in hand with supply" and able to meet future demand
- The Government needs to be "confident" any adjustments to the current measures will not risk a second peak infections that overwhelms the NHS
The government message to everyone: Stay At Home. Save Lives. Anyone Can Spread Coronavirus.
16th April 2020NHS England New Published Documents
The following COVID-19 guidance documents for dental teams have now been published by NHS England:
• COVID-19 Guidance and standard operating procedures: Urgent dental care systems in the context of coronavirus. Delay Phase.
• Issue 4 - Preparedness letter for primary dental care – 15 April 2020
These are both found via this webpage, at which NHS England and NHS Improvement COVID-19 dental guidance is consolidated.
Please note that guidance, standard operating procedures and other publications are being revised and updated on an ongoing basis. Please visit the webpage above regularly for the latest information.
16th April 2020Show your appreciation: Clap for Our Carers - 8pm tonight
In what has become a weekly tradition, the nation comes together each Thursday at 8pm as part of the Clap For Our Carers campaign, to publicly recognise the efforts of the NHS workers on the front line of the battle against coronavirus.
15th April 2020How claim for your employees' wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Information on how to claim for your employees' wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is now available on the government website. Find out if you’re eligible and how much you can claim to cover wages for employees on temporary leave ('furlough') due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
This link will take to directly to what you’ll need to make a claim.
13th April 2020DTS announces new theatre
Brand new for The Dental Technology Showcase (DTS) 2020 is the Digital Dentistry Acceleration Forum, sponsored by Henry Schein Dental.
It will provide a platform for lab owners, dentists and industry representatives to discuss current challenges and find potential solutions. The invite-only sessions are all about improving collaboration between team members, enabling all businesses to maximise on the digital opportunities available.
Emma Marriott, Education and Events Manager for Henry Schein Dental commented:
“Henry Schein Dental are very excited to be sponsoring the Digital Dentistry Acceleration Forum at the upcoming DTS. This is a fantastic opportunity for all laboratories and technicians to learn about and experience hands-on, the benefits of a digital workflow. From 3D printers to scanners, sintering furnaces and milling machines, Henry Schein Dental’s knowledgeable sales team will be available in the Forum (and on stand J20) to answer all your questions, provide advice and give individual demonstrations.”
DTS 2020 – Friday 11 th and Saturday 12 th September–Hall 5, Birmingham NEC, co-located with the British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show. Register for free online. www.the-dts.co.uk, 020 7348 5270 , firstname.lastname@example.org
9th April 2020Redeployment of dental team members
Departments of health across the UK are putting plans in place to make best use of the dental team through redeployment to support urgent dental care and, increasingly, to support the wider COVID-19 response.
NHS England has published guidance on its approach to redeploying members of the dental team into work outside dentistry. It includes a mapping from the skills of the different dental professions to roles and tasks in other settings. It also includes a reference to the GDC guidance on working in non-dental settings who fully support dental professionals who choose to volunteer their services in this way but individuals must ensure they work to the limits of their competency, in accordance with GDC standards. Any member of the dental team can express an interest in volunteering by completing the online survey.
The document confirmed that where dental care professionals are redeployed to help in delivering NHS services for the purposes of dealing with the coronavirus outbreak, they should be reassured that they will be covered for any clinical negligence arising from their NHS activities (irrespective of where the NHS services are provided –in hospital, a clinic, on GP premises, etc.)
For staff who are not currently employed in the NHS, the time for which you are redeployed into acute or community settings within the NHS will be paid at the appropriate pay scale for their role, reflecting the skills and training required for their specified COVID-19 role. The actual amount will be confirmed by the COVID-19 employing Trust. Your contract will reflect standard terms and conditions such as working hour protections, pay arrangements, and annual leave entitlement.
8th 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
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
6th April 2020Employment law updates
New legislation and changes to existing employment regulations come into effect from 6 April 2020. This includes changes to agency worker rights, holiday pay calculations, ICE regulations, parental bereavement leave and requirements for written statements of employment. Find out more on the ACAS website.
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 2020Response from Health Protect Scotland
Health Protect Scotland have responded to a number of concerns that the DTA raised on behalf of dental technologists and our membership.
Covid-19 Business Support
In terms of business concerns, the economic development directorate in Scottish Government has set up a telephone line to support business during Covid-19:
The business helpline number is 0300 303 0660. The helpline will be open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.30pm.
Callers should select option one to speak to the COVID-19 team.
On dental work more broadly, there has been a delay in the updated dental guidelines. These are currently awaiting approval at Scottish Government. This will be posted at on the HPS website when available.
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.
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