7th May 2021 GG&C LDC Update

06 May 2021

CoD Update; Activity Measurement; PECOS Deadline

    • Yesterday we received the anniversary edition of the covid-19 Chief of Dentistry update. The update includes a series of reflections from colleagues across dental services in GG&C.
    • We also received a letter relating to NHS dental care in GG&C. The letter reminds practices:
      • All items of service continue to be available under SDR148.
        • It would be misleading to tell patients that certain NHS treatments are unavailable.
        • There is however a recognition that capacity is extremely limited. Prioritisation of urgent care remains the focus, but routine care can be undertaken.
        • The OHD have informed the LDC that they intend to send out a survey to take a snapshot of current service provision in GDS.
      • If you are moving patients on to independent plans, you mustcomplete a GP200 form for each of them.
        • You cannot collect private plan fees and also claim NHS cap/cons. To do so could be considered fraudulent and could therefore invite patient complaints, Health Board investigations and regulatory proceedings.
        • Please also note that practice NHS funding is at risk of reduction if NHS registration levels dip significantly.
    • Currently, Scottish Government plans to use Item of Service (IoS) as the sole measure of activity in the upcoming tiered support arrangements (a PCA detailing the finalised approach is due in the coming weeks).
    • GG&C LDC are fiercely opposed to this as are reps on SDPC.  We have repeatedly highlighted the flaws in this approach, at all levels, but our concerns do not appear to be registering at the top level.
    • There are 2 key flaws with this plan:
      1. Using IoS as the sole measure of activity will force young patients to the back of the queue, widening the gap in dental health inequalities and increasing the likelihood of life-threatening and avoidable GA procedures. By only including the financial value of IoS  as a measure of activity, dentists will be forced to favour adult patients over children or face severe cuts to their funding (only IoS activity on adults will count towards targets, where as capitation activity on under-18s will not). GDPs are being put in the impossible position of choosing between child dental health and keeping practices afloat. This is wholly unacceptable. By way of a short-term solution, we have proposed a temporary SDR fee be attached to all capitation treatment items so that dental activity for young patients carries the same weight as for adults.
      2. Using IoS as the sole measure of activity doesn’t take into account the administrative demands of the new Standard Operating Procedures. We cannot be expected to be able to practice safely (screening & triaging patients in line with guidance) without recognition that this activity now accounts for a far greater proportion of clinical time. No direct comparison can be made with IoS from preCovid times and therefore some alternative way of measuring this activity must be incorporated. We have proposed that an SDR fee is attached to the existing 8000 codes to represent (in IoS terms) the clinical time spent ensuring the safety of our patients and colleagues.
    • To our knowledge, in no other branch of the NHS are individual workers being threatened with (up to a 45%) pay-reduction should their service/practice as a whole fail to meet imposed targets. In fact, in all other NHS contractor services (GMP, Optometry and Pharmacy) funding has been maintained at 100%, with no mention of tiered reductions, despite similarly devastated levels of service provision.
    • The LDC will continue to make representations on this matter and would encourage our constituents to raise these points in as many forums as possible.
    • Our very own Judith Hunter chaired the 2021 (virtual) Conference of Scottish LDCs on Friday 23rd April and the event was very well received by all in attendance.
    • The conference is the main route by which GDPs set policy for the Scottish Dental Practice Committee to take forward to Scottish Government.
    • Your elected GG&C reps successfully passed a series of motionsbased on the concerns our constituents have raised in recent times.
    • Please be aware the next monthly cut-off for PECOS ordering of ‘standard’ PPE is today (7th May) at noon.
    • GG&C PECOS deadlines will be noon on the first Friday of the month until we are informed otherwise.
    • Allocation limits are detailed at practice level via the generic inbox email address.
    • If you miss this deadline you will not be able to take advantage of the free NHS PPE allocations until the following month
    • Enhanced PPE (Gowns, FFP3) should still be collected from Stobhill (although there is work underway to move to PECOS ordering of enhanced PPE in the coming months).
    • An email sent to practices earlier in the week informed us that a further supply of Lateral Flow Device tests will be sent to practices soon.
    • You do not need to order this batch, however there is an intended move to an ordering system in the future.
    • SDPC have informed us that the £500 NHS bonus grants were miscalculated for dentists. Dentists should have been calculated based on a 37.5 hour working week rather than a 40 hour working week.
    • We understand that efforts are underway to secure additional payments where required.
    • The GDC statement on covid vaccination has been updated, if you are concerned about your professional responsibilities we suggest you read the above statement for clarification.
    • The statement also goes on to discuss employers’ responsibilities.
    • On 30th April 2021 SDCEP published ‘Ventilation Information for Dentistry
    • This is not a guidance document but goes in to detail about the rationale for ventilation in dental settings and may inform future guidance.
    • There is also some discussion about the use of air cleaners.
    • The LDC have agreed to share the following:
    • The BDA Benevolent Fund is the charity which supports ALL dentists and their dependents living in the UK who find themselves in financial hardship. It also supports dental undergraduate students in severe financial need. Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic requests for the Fund’s assistance have increased threefold whilst donations to help those in need have reduced significantly.
    • Please consider making a personal donation, however small, to enable the Fund to continue to assist colleagues in need; this is often due to a breakdown in physical and/or mental health.  Adding Gift Aid enables the Fund to augment your donation by a further 25% from HMRC i.e. a £20 donation becomes £25
    • Please also see the advisory council presentation for more information.