GDC updates October 2021

New Chair and Council member take up their posts 

We welcomed two new members of Council on 1 October 2021.

Angie Heilmann MBE, joined as a registrant member, and Lord Toby Harris took up his position as the new Chair of the General Dental Council. In his first blog post, Toby highlights his commitment to engaging with the whole detail team to ensure patient safety and public confidence remains a key area of focus as we look to the opportunities afforded by regulatory reform:  

“As a member of the House of Lords, I will be taking a particular interest in the pace of regulatory reform, which we need to unlock some of the restrictions on how we operate. There are currently different legislative frameworks that may impact our statutory functions in the years ahead, and I’m pleased to join at a time where my experience can help.” 

Read the full post on our website.

Our next Council meeting will be held on 21 October.

Annual Renewal for dentists: payment options and personal details   

The GDC is now preparing for the opening of Annual Renewal for dentists, which will be on 8 November this year. We are asking dentists to make sure they're ready too, by checking that their personal details are correct and up to date and that they have selected their preferred payment option.  

Dentists who would like to take advantage of the new pay by instalments option this year will need to log in to their eGDC account and select this payment option before 31 October 2021. Those who choose to pay in instalments, will pay four equal payments of £170. Those who hold a specialist title, will pay a fee of £72 per title, which will be collected with the first Direct Debit.  

Those who prefer to pay the Annual Retention Fee by a single Direct Debit will also need to have it set up by 31 October 2021. Direct Debit cancellations need to be done by 25 November.  

The collection date for Direct Debit payments will be 1 December 2021.  

We are also encouraging dentists to review and update their personal equality data during this year’s renewal period because of the important contribution it makes to our work, as Dr Marie-Jeanne Royer explains in her blog post on how we use the information provided.

Dentists should login to eGDC for payment options and to update personal details. 

New guidance on botulinum toxin and cosmetic fillers restrictions 

New guidance has been issued for businesses and young people and their parents or guardians on the restrictions on the administration of botulinum toxin and cosmetic fillers, by injection, for those under 18 years of age in England.

The changes came into effect on 1 October in England.

Tax guidance changes for Associate Dentists from 6 April 2023 

From 6 April 2023, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will be updating its Employment Status Manual (ESM) to remove specific occupational guidance for Associate Dentists (ESM4030), as it updates the ESM and moves sector specific guidance to the Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) tool. There are no planned changes to the rules or the employment status of Associate Dentists.

Essentially, the change means that where a contract runs from or over 6 April 2023, you will no longer be able to rely on the ESM4030 to check the employment status for tax of that contract, you will instead need to refer to the CEST tool.

The ESM4030 can continue to be used until it is withdrawn. HMRC will not be using the withdrawal of the guidance as a reason to open retrospective enquires into periods prior to 6 April 2023.

If, after consulting the guidance, you have further questions, please contact the HMRC employer’s helpline on 0300 200 3200.  

Workforce Specialist Service: for mental healthcare in Scotland 

The Workforce Specialist Service is for regulated professionals working in health and social care in Scotland. It is a place where dental professionals can turn for access to confidential mental health assessment and treatment services.

The service is delivered by a multi-disciplinary team of mental healthcare providers, who understand the needs of healthcare professionals and can treat a range of mental health issues such as stress, anxiety, depression or addiction.  

You can find out more by visiting the National Wellbeing Hub, by emailing or calling 0300 0303 300.  

Whistleblowing disclosures report 2020

Working jointly with other UK healthcare professional regulators we have now published the Whistleblowing disclosures report 2021 for the period 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021.

Over the period, we received 100 disclosures, of these, 93 resulted in regulatory action being taken, four were closed with no further action and three were referred to other bodies. While the number of disclosures we received represents a small decrease from the previous year, it is believed that this is, at least in part, due to the reduced availability of dental services caused by COVID-19. The report also details an increase in concerns relating to the pandemic, including allegations of poor infection prevention and control procedures.

Visit our website for the full report.

October is Black History Month 

We’re celebrating Black History Month throughout October.

We’ve started off the month with a guest blog from Funmi Oluwajana, Clinical Fellow, as she revisits the events of the past year in challenging racism and discrimination in dentistry and looks towards a promising future. Please also keep an eye out for further posts throughout the month, including highlights from our conversation with the family of the UK’s first Black dentist.

Wayne Sharp, Registration Caseworker and our Race, Ethnicity and Cultural Heritage (REACH) Chair, explains what Black History Month is about:

“REACH was formed to give Black, Asian, and minority ethnic colleagues and their allies a forum for positive change. Black History Month affords our network and the GDC a great opportunity to engage with the profession and reaffirm our commitment to embrace racial diversity and positivity in all its forms.”

Visit our website this month for regular posts.

Advancing Dental Care Review from HEE  

Health Education England (HEE) published its Advancing Dental Care (ADC) Review report at the end of September. The three-year review worked to identify and develop a future dental education and training infrastructure that will produce a skilled multi-professional oral healthcare workforce to best support patient and population needs within the NHS.

We welcome the review and look forward to working collaboratively with HEE and others over the next four-years to deliver its recommendations across England. The proposals focus on developing skills by giving trainees more diverse experience and making better use of the skill mix in the dental team, widening access and participation through more flexible routes into training and the introduction of apprenticeships, and more flexible working in support of workforce retention, balanced lifestyles and career progression.

You can access the full ADC Review report online.