BADN responds to Nuffield policy briefing

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  Posted by: Dental Design      29th January 2024

The UK’s professional association for dental nurses, the British Association of Dental Nurses (BADN), has today responded to the policy briefing published in mid-December 2023 on the state of NHS Dentistry.

The authors of the Nuffield document consulted with the British Dental Association (BDA), which represents dentists,  and the regulatory body, the General Dental Council (GDC), as well as with other organisations including the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health – but not with BADN, which represents dental nurses, nor with any of the other associations representing Dental Care Professionals (hygienists, therapists, technicians, clinical dental technicians and orthodontic therapists).

The BADN response makes clear that “….BADN is surprised, and extremely disappointed, that the authors did not see fit to consult those representing Dental Care Professionals, including dental nurses.”

“It is inconceivable”  said BADN Honorary President Joan Hatchard “that an organisation such as the Nuffield Foundation believes that oral healthcare in the UK is delivered by dentists alone, has ignored the contribution of other members of the dental team, and has failed to avail themselves of the knowledge, expertise and skills of the professional associations representing DCPs in their attempt to identify, and provide solutions to, the difficulties currently facing NHS dentistry.

“The document  lists those organisations who participated in a “roundtable event” where they were “invited to reflect on the problems facing NHS dentistry and potential solutions.”  Although the BDA and GDC were present at this event (as was the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health), BADN – the professional body which represents the UK’s dental nurses, who make up approximately 48% of registered dental professionals and 74% of registered DCPs – was not even invited to attend!

“Annex A to the document further states that “A range of interviews (and follow up discussions) were held with stakeholders covering a broad range of perspectives – the indiviuals involved spanned current dental practitioners, professional bodies and associations….”.   Again, the “professional bodies and associations” concerned did not include BADN – or any other DCP associations.  Annex A also goes on to state that 3 “professional representatives” and 10 “dental professionals” were interviewed – but fails to state who these representatives/professionals were, or whom they “represent”.

“The authors of the Nuffield briefing need to bear in mind that dental nurses are vital members of the dental team (which is composed of a range of different professionals, not just dentists!)  which delivers oral healthcare in the UK.  Any attempts to solve the current – or any future – crisis in NHS dentistry must include input from BADN, the professional association representing dental nurses, as well as other bona fide DCP associations, and reflect the views of all members of the dental team, in order to adequately reflect the current situation and provide workable solutions.”


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