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Fewer patients receiving NHS dental treatment in the UK

Fewer patients are receiving treatment in NHS dental practices, according to newly-released statistics.

Data shows dental teams carried out 38.4 million courses of NHS treatment in 2019-20.

But this marks a 3.36% drop compared to the previous year.

This is despite a jump in the number of dentists carrying out activity. Statistics show 24,684 dentists performed NHS activity in 2019-20, an increase of 139 when compared to the previous year.

Regional disparities

Additionally, the data also exposes regional disparities. For example, 65 NHS clinical commissioning groups saw the number of dentists decrease over the past year.

And seven of these saw dentist numbers decline by 20% or more when compared to 2018-19.

Between 31 March 2019 and 31 March 2020, 58% of children had attended an NHS dentist in the previous 12 months. This figure stood at 49.6% for adults over the last two years.

The British Dental Association (BDA) … Read the rest

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New computational methods help find genetic causes of severe childhood brain disorders

A team of researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia affiliated with the CHOP Epilepsy Neurogenetics Initiative have combined clinical information with large-scale genomic data to successfully link characteristic presentations of childhood epilepsies with specific genetic variants.

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Three quarters of female NHS workers report emotional stress during pandemic

One in five female NHS employees said they did not have access to the necessary PPE during the pandemic.

This is according to a new report that looks into the impact of the coronavirus crisis on women working in the NHS.

The data, carried out by the NHS Confederation and the Health and Care Women Leaders Network (HCWLN), points out that more than three quarters of the NHS workforce is made up of women.

Emotional and physical health

The survey found that almost 75% of participants reported that their role had caused them a greater negative impact than usual on their emotional wellbeing.

Additionally, more than half reported a negative impact on their physical health.

For those continuing to work in the health and social care sector, respondents said conflicting messages from the government and trusts have added to stress. Those in leadership roles also reported worry for their … Read the rest

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What does the new NHS infection prevention guidance mean for dentistry?

New infection control guidance has been issued for healthcare settings in the UK, including dental practices. 

In the latest information from the NHS and Public Health England (PHE), dentistry has been labelled a ‘medium-risk pathway’ in the face of COVID-19.

Definitions of this area are any care facility where:

  • Triaged/clinically assessed individuals are asymptomatic and are waiting a COVID-19 test result with no known recent COVID-19 contact
  • Testing is not required or feasible on asymptomatic individuals and infectious status is unknown
  • Asymptomatic individuals decline testing.

Other examples of ‘medium-risk pathways’ include GP surgeries, non-elective admissions, primary care facilities and care homes.

Same PPE guidance

Additionally, the personal protective equipment (PPE) requirement for staff in high and medium-risk pathways has not changed. An FFP3 or hood should still be worn by dental professionals carrying out AGPs.

Requirements for environmental cleaning and disinfection include:

  • Increased frequency of decontamination for all reusable non-invasive
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Congenital disorder of fat metabolism can cause chronic hyperreaction of the immune system

Scientists at the University of Bonn identify previously unknown disease mechanism. A congenital disorder of the fat metabolism can apparently cause chronic hyperreaction of the immune system.

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British Fluoridation Society gathering momentum

Two high profile and highly experienced advocates for community water fluoridation are now joining the British Fluoridation Society.

Alan Johnson, former Labour MP and a Secretary of State for Health, is vice president and Barry Cockcroft, former chief dental officer for England, is joining the BFS council.

Both have history championing the fight for fluoridation in parliament. Alan Johnson supported the proposal to introduce it in Hull. While Barry worked tirelessly as CDO to introduce it in Southampton.

‘Alan joins a long line of high profile social justice campaigners who have added their name to a BFS vice president role,’ chair of the BFS, Steve Bedser, says.

‘Both Alan and Barry have a great record as water fluoridation advocates. I am confident that both will be great assets to the society.’

Quickest and easiest way to improve our health

Jo Churchill MP called on dentists and dental professionals to back … Read the rest

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