Westminster Health Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244.
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Dentistry and oral health in England - responding to COVID-19, contract reform, preventative oral health and supporting the workforce

Morning, Wednesday, 21st October 2020

Online Conference

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will discuss the key priorities for dentistry in England.

Areas for discussion include:

  • the impact of COVID-19
  • ongoing dental contract reform
  • key issues for the workforce and improving oral health

We are pleased to include keynote contributions from: Stefan Czerniawski, Executive Director, General Dental Council; John Milne, Senior National Dental Advisor, Surgery, CQC; and Rebecca Sadler, Director, Clinical Dentistry, Portman Dental Care.

The context for discussion:

  • Guidance for a phased resumption of full dental services in practices in England issued by The Office of the Chief Dental Officer
  • Increased stress and anxiety levels since the pandemic, experienced by more than two thirds of dental professionals who were surveyed, reported by the Dental Defence Union
  • Relaunch of the Health and Social Care Committee inquiry into dental services - looking at access, health inequity, dentistry within primary care networks, key workforce issues, commissioning, best practice and the dental contract - supported by an NAO memorandum requested by the committee
  • Comments from the Chief Dental Officer (writing in the British Dental Journal):
    • outlining the opportunity for a profound change in oral healthcare experience for patients and the profession
    • stating that the ‘anticipated phased recovery of services may be just the vehicle for greater flexibility in commissioning and scaling up reforms to contract’
  • Concerns raised with the Health Secretary by the BDA:

Key areas for discussion:

The impact of the pandemic

Delivering dentistry in a COVID-19 environment and what it means for the future of dentistry on dentistry as practices adapt to the new normal, including:

  • supporting the wellbeing of the workforce
  • practices opening up for routine provision - the practicalities, and how best to manage the backlog of appointments
  • Urgent Dental Care Hubs - assessing their effectiveness in delivering urgent care through the pandemic
  • transitioning towards full provision - following guidance from the Chief Dental Officer
  • keeping patients and staff protected - and priorities for PPE provision, including the impact of:
    • limitations on aerosol generating procedures following PHE’s guidance on risks associated with their use
    • the one hour fallow period following such treatments on the capacity of surgeries

Dental contract reform and service delivery

The future of dentistry, as the sector moves forward from the pandemic, looking at:

  • supporting practices - what more needs to be done, with concerns from the profession over sustainability in the wake of the pandemic, and the costs of PPE
  • indemnity across the sector - emerging issues in the context of the impact of the pandemic
  • dental contract reform - practical considerations, including:
    • the progress of dental prototypes
    • how the contract needs to adapt to support practices and patients as the sector adapts to the impact of the pandemic
    • addressing concerns around capitation and the impact of reform to practice owners

Developing the workforce, improving oral health and developing a holistic approach across primary care

  • the next steps for aligning plans with Health Education England to ensure the workforce is equipped with the right skills and training to deliver patient and prevention focussed oral health care as they carry out phase two of their Advancing Dental Care Review, including pilots this year using best practice in flexible training
  • the impact of the NHS Long Term Plan on dentistry, with its focus on oral health and inequalities
  • developing integrated care systems across the country - including the continued implementation of the Starting Well Core Initiative in high priority areas which aims to improve oral health inequalities for 0-2 year olds
  • working collaboratively and providing joined-up health care:
    • what progress has been made
    • the role of dentistry within integrated care systems and primary care networks
    • learning from best practice

The agenda:

  • Dentistry in England - challenges and opportunities for the industry, and priorities for supporting practices in the wake of the pandemic
  • Dental care in a COVID-19 environment - delivering urgent dental care, maintaining safety and transitioning to full provision
  • Key emerging issues for regulation, contract reform and responding to COVID-19
  • Ensuring value for money from NHS dental services
  • Dental Contract reform - lessons from the NHS prototype contract, indemnity costs, improving access and adapting to new ways of working, and moving forward from the impact of COVID-19
  • Priorities for professional regulation in dental services
  • Equipping the workforce with the appropriate education and training to deliver change and meet future challenges
  • Developing a holistic approach to oral health across primary care - the role of primary care networks in bringing together services and fostering collaboration
  • Achieving improvements in public oral health - priorities for preventative care, paediatric dentistry and reducing tooth decay, and the impact of the Starting Well Core Initiative

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. A place had already been reserved from HM Treasury, and overall we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government and regulatory officials involved in this area of policy, as well as representatives from Local Dental Committees, individual practices, private providers, equipment providers, dental schools, regulators, commissioners and local authorities, indemnity providers, pharmacies, health professionals and health visiting teams, patient groups and reporters from the national and specialist media, together with reporters from the national and specialist media.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speakers

Rebecca Sadler

Director, Clinical Dentistry, Portman Dental Care

John Milne

Senior National Dental Advisor, Surgery, CQC

Stefan Czerniawski

Executive Director, General Dental Council

Tim Phillips

Director, Health, National Audit Office

Dr Ravi Singh

Practice Lead, Windsor Dental Practice


Judith Cummins MP


Dr Andrew McCulloch

National Committee Member, Healthwatch England

Dr Stuart Allan

Professional Advisor - Dentistry, Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership

John Makin

Head of the Dental Defence Union, Medical Defence Union