Published on 23rd November 2016 by lauram

During Dentistry interviews, they may choose to ask you about current affairs relating to dentistry and the NHS. One of the biggest changes in the past year has been the new contract development that affects not only junior doctors but also trainee hospital dentists. February 2016 saw the first time that the British Dental Association (BDA) had taken industrial action. Here is The Medic Portal’s guide to how the proposed seven day NHS affects dentists.

What is the Seven Day NHS?

The seven day NHS was included in the Conservative Party manifesto and David Cameron made it a key part of his first speech when he won the election in May 2010. He wanted to see a truly seven-day service in the NHS after figures were released that showed an increased risk of death for patients admitted at weekends. Although urgent care is available at weekends, there is a reduction in staffing levels and access to key tests is more difficult.

How Does This Affect Dentists?

How will the seven day NHS affect dentists?

After graduating from dental school and completing the dental foundation training, those who choose to continue in their training to specialise apply for dental foundation year 2. These placements are carried out in hospitals and some dentists may find themselves on the same employment terms as junior doctors. For example, oral surgeons who are extracting children’s teeth under general anaesthetic. Additionally, although nothing has been proposed so far a truly seven-day NHS may mean general dentists working at the weekends, similarly to the push to have general practitioner practices open at the weekends.  

What Are The Most Recent Updates?

The most recent updates have seen the British Dental Association (BDA) agreed to suspend further industrial action alongside the British Medical Association (BMA). The BDA is seeking to work with the Government to help implement a new contract that both supports trainee dentists and their patients. The new contracts are due to be rolled out in early 2017.

What kinds of questions would I be asked about the Seven Day NHS in an interview?

  • How do you think the plans to change the NHS to a seven day service may affect dentists?
  • Do you agree that all dental services within the NHS should be available seven days a week?
  • Do you think that dentists and doctors were right to take strike against the new imposed contracts?
  • What are some of the negatives you can think of regarding the seven day NHS service?
  • How do you think the NHS could fund a seven day NHS service?

How would I approach a Seven Day NHS question?

  • Make sure that you keep up to date with current affairs regarding dental news, the NHS as well as health research.
  • Give a balanced answer, outline both the positives and negatives of having a seven day NHS service.
  • Give the opinions of a number of different parties involved such as patients, dentists and the government.
  • Be realistic in your answers, think about how the government will fund the new service and balance this against patient outcomes.
  • Conclude your answer with a balanced summary and make sure that you opinions are not overly emotive.

Words: Joelle


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