HPV vaccination (yet) again

July 2018: The Words:

UK Government advisers have recommended extending funding for human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines to boys.

The HPV vaccine was previously offered to girls aged 12 to 13, with the new recommendation meaning 400,000 boys will also benefit every year.

All UK Governments took on board the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunsation’s (JCVI’s) advice.

‘The JCVI’s advice that boys should be vaccinated is very welcome news for boys and their parents,’ HPV Action campaign director, Peter Baker, said.

‘It will also benefit those girls who, for whatever reason, have not been vaccinated against HPV.”

December 2018: The Reality:

Steve Brine MP has said there will be no catch-up HPV vaccine programme for boys.

In a letter to the shadow public health minister Sharon Hodgson, he argues boys will benefit from ‘herd protection’.

However, the BDA believes up to 2 million boys will remain unprotected from HPV without a catch-up vaccine programme.

‘The latest data on vaccinations among girls illustrates precisely why we’ve needed a gender-neutral approach, Mick Armstrong, chair of the British Dental Association (BDA), said.

‘It also shows why penny pinching on a catch-up programme will leave many school-aged boys unprotected.

‘There can be no guarantees of “herd protection” when nearly one in five girls are missing out on the vaccine.

‘A catch-up programme remains the best way to protect all our children from this cancer-causing virus.’

….and many still believe that this bunch will come up with a fairer NHS Dental Contract.

Time to review your associate contract?

A couple of years ago I asked a specialist dental lawyer friend of mine why her firm suggested using the BDA associate contract rather than writing one of their own, she replied that as the BDA contracts are the the mostly widely used they are regarded as the industry standard. She went on to say that the longer and more complicated the contract the more likely it was that there could be challenges and disputes both of which cost money to resolve. (Simplify, simplify)

Times change, bringing changes in the context of contracts, therefore the content needs to evolve.

The BDA has updated their template dental associate contract to reflect these changes; the amendments include clarification around:

  • Practice hours.
  • Time away from the practice.
  • Locum cover.
  • Provision of equipment.
  • Hygienist services.
  • NHS contract requirements.
  • Private fees.
  • Confidentiality and data processing.

I am still surprised by how many associates and principals do not have a formal agreement in place or, where they do, there is no regular formal review of working arrangements. When I visit a practice to carry out a Practice Business Health Check I ask about not only “if” but also “when” contracts are in place and reviewed.

With the self-employed status of associates coming under increasing scrutiny it is important for both parties their contracts are contemporary. 

BDA members can access the relevant updated contracts on the website here: New Contracts

 

HPV vaccination – isn’t it time?

The science is there, isn’t it time the political will was there?

Dear Dr Rees,
I wanted you to be the first to know.
We’ve just got word that the UK Government’s scientific advisors have finally listened, and have recommended expansion of Human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination programme to cover school-age boys.
HPV has been fuelling a surge in oropharyngeal cancers. And for years this profession has worked to win the argument for change.
Dentists are on the front line in the battle against oral cancer. So please, share this video.

We are now pressing all UK governments to move swiftly towards rollout of a national programme, so all our children can get protection from this devastating condition.
We have fought to put prevention into practice. This profession can take pride in what we’ve achieved, together.
Mick Armstrong
Chair, BDA

Link to the release here

 

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