Latest updates from the GDC - November 2021

A view from the GDC’s new Chair

Our new Chair, Lord Toby Harris, took up his post just over a month ago and reflects on his first 30 days in the role. As meetings with stakeholders got underway, Council took decisions on the GDC budget and ARF levels for 2022 and the College of General Dentistry was officially launched. And in a look forward, the Chair points to our call for examples of professionalism in action.

What does professionalism mean to you?  

We’ve been asking patients and professionals to describe their experiences of professionalism in dentistry from across the UK, as part of our review of standards and guidance.

Hearing these examples of good quality care, compassion and professionalism from across UK dentistry reminds us that these things happen every day, we just need to take the time to take notice and share them with others. This is where you come in.

If you have seen or demonstrated an example of professionalism that you’d like to share, we’d like you to get in touch. You can share just an sentence or an image with a quote, you’ll find more details on our website. We’ll be sharing your stories over the coming months.

Annual Renewal for dentists opens 8 November 

This year, Annual Renewal for dentists will open on 8 November. Dentists will need to:

  • pay the Annual Retention Fee (ARF)
  • declare that indemnity is, or will be, in place
  • make an annual or end of cycle CPD statement.

Further information and FAQs on Annual Renewal can be found on our website. You will also find guidance on CPD and COVID-19 for dental professionals online. 

Vaccination against COVID-19 in CQC care homes in England

From 11 November, anyone working or volunteering in a CQC registered care home in England will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless medically exempt or it is reasonably necessary in an emergency. Further guidance is available online.

November is Mouth Cancer Action Month  

November is Mouth Cancer Action Month. The campaign, organised by the Oral Health Foundation and supported by the Mouth Cancer Foundation, provides a month of activities to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of mouth cancer and the risk factors associated with the condition.

Wednesday 17 November is Blue Wednesday – when supporters are being asked to share the message – a self-check for mouth cancer takes 45 seconds and can save your life. Visit the campaign website for details of how to get involved.

VAT changes for the import of dental prostheses

Announcements made in the autumn budget 2021 included changes to the VAT on imports of dental prostheses to the UK. Registered dental professionals are now exempt from VAT on the import of dental prosthesis, and the change is being applied retrospectively to 1 January 2021 for repayment claims.

The change will assist those who have been subject to import VAT due to the Northern Ireland Protocol, and brings VAT back into line with that for dental prostheses supplied in the UK. Further guidance is available online including how to reclaim overpaid VAT.  

New patient safety training materials launched in England

New patient safety training materials have been launched in England. Some elements are expected to be completed by NHS employees, even those in roles which are not patient-facing. Completion of the training will help to ensure health and care services are as safe as possible for patients and service users.

The first two levels of training materials are available on the e-learning for healthcare hub. All NHS staff are encouraged to complete the first level, ‘Essentials for patient safety’. Level two, ‘Access to practice’ is for those who have an interest in understanding more about patient safety and who want to go on to access the higher levels of training. Levels three to five of the training are expected by the end of March 2022.

The training has been devised following the publication of the NHS Patient Safety Strategy which contains a patient safety syllabus. It sets out a new approach to patient safety emphasising a proactive approach to identifying risks to safe care while also including systems thinking and human factors, all of which has been incorporated into the training. The materials have been published by Health Education England, NHS England and NHS Improvement, The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and e-learning for healthcare.

Short reads that you may have missed

As part of Black History Month we spoke to the family of Edward Tull-Warnock, who became one of the first Black professional dentists in the UK. We’d like to thank his grandchildren for taking the time to share Edward’s extraordinary story with us, which you can now find on our website.  

We also recently welcomed Elizabeth Gonzales Malaga, Clinical Fellow, to the GDC Strategy Directorate for the next 12 months. In her introductory blog post, Elizabeth explains why she wanted to spend some time at the GDC and what she wants to get out of her time with us.