The Probe - Proudly serving the dental profession for over 60 years

BDNJ Spring 2020 – Sepsis GDC Development Outcome: C

Course Dates: 9th July 2020 - 9th July 2022
Enrollment Dates: Enroll Anytime
Who can Enroll: Anyone
Course Language: English
Price: FREE

About the Course

• To understand the threat of sepsis

• To recognise early signs of sepsis and take appropriate action

• To discuss the treatment of sepsis

Course Structure


The Probe

Join our
Mailing List

Sign up to our newsletter and keep up to date on the latest happenings in the dental market.

Sign up today

NASDAL: Uber ruling – what will it mean for the dental sector?

Course Dates: Open-ended
Enrollment Dates: Enroll Anytime
Who can Enroll:
Price: FREE

About the Course

Many dentists (both Principals and Associates) will be aware that there was a Supreme Court judgement last Friday that ruled Uber drivers must be treated as workers rather than self-employed.

The five key facts in the Uber judgement were:

  1. Remuneration was controlled by Uber including the amount paid to drivers and whether to refund passengers.
  2. Drivers have no ability to negotiate the terms they contract with Uber on or the terms on which they transport passengers.
  3. Once the driver is logged into the Uber App, they have limited power over their operations, placing them in a position of subordination. For example, the driver is not informed of the intended destination before accepting the fare and Uber can log the driver out if their acceptances or cancellations are unsatisfactory.
  4. Uber exercise significant control over the service provided to passengers as the cars are vetted, the software is integral, Uber control the information provided to drivers, and drivers are monitored.
  5. The relationship between the driver and the passenger is restricted to a minimum, preventing the driver from establishing a relationship which benefits their ‘business’ as a driver, which is specifically prohibited by Uber in any event.

This has meant that the political hot potato of whether Associates should be self-employed or not has again risen its head. From a tax perspective, this has been covered in previous NASDAL (National Association of Specialist Dental Accountants and Lawyers) releases and the position is still very clear – HMRC guidance contained in “Employment Status Manual ESM4030 Particular occupations: dentists” states:

“It should be noted that there are standard forms of agreement for ‘associate’ dentists which have been approved by the British Dental Association (BDA) and the Dental Practitioners Association (DPA)(sic). These agreements relate to dentists practicing as associates in premises run by another dentist.

“Where these agreements are used and the terms are followed, the income of the associate dentist is assessable under trading income rules and not as employment income. In these circumstances the dentist is liable for Class 2/4 NICs and not Class 1 NICs.

“The NHS General Dental Services Contract, which came into force from 1 April 2006, provides for less fluctuation in Associate Dentist’s income. However, providing the Associate Dentist continues to be responsible for paying their share of laboratory fees etc. for work relating to their patients and other terms of the standard agreement are followed, the above guidance will still apply.”

Alan Suggett, specialist dental accountant and partner in UNW LLP, said, “What is perhaps less clear now is that arguably an Associate could be considered self-employed by HMRC and yet be a ‘worker’ from an employment law perspective. Perhaps where the Associates are different to most Uber drivers is that they want to be self-employed.”

Some have expressed concern that these potential employment rights could have an effect on the vicarious liability of the Associate as well as worker benefits. If Principals became liable for maternity leave and holidays, this could drive Associate pay down and employment might actually be a more attractive option for all moving forward. However, one of the key factors in the judgement is that the Uber drivers could not substitute or send a locum in to do their work. They had to perform it personally. This is not always the case for dentists. They usually have the right to substitute in their contract and this is why it is key that contracts are abided by and not changed without expert advice.

UNW employment tax partner Lee Muter added, “The Uber case is more to do with employment rights obtained for the individual drivers as being “workers” which is a separate category within employment law, probably a hybrid between an employee and self-employed, rather than affecting the status for tax purposes. One of the quirky things about this is that the driver could still potentially be classed as self-employed for tax purposes but a worker for employment law purposes, so having potentially the best of both world in that they could obtain some valuable employment rights such as holiday pay, etc but also have the flexibility and other benefits associated with being self-employed for tax.”

Dr Barry Oulton on Influencing Smiles (S03 E06)

Course Dates: Open-ended
Enrollment Dates: Enroll Anytime
Who can Enroll:
Price: FREE

About the Course

The Confident Dentist, Dr Barry Oulton, kicks off this episode of The Probe Dental Podcast by dropping a bit of a bombshell. Stay tuned until the very end for an update on the situation!

Barry also discusses his upcoming course, Influencing Smiles, which teaches participants how to communicate with patients effectively. This, of course, will have sales implications for your practice, while also ensuring patients heed the messages you are giving them. 

Providing proof of his methods, Barry identifies the way James’s mind ticks during the conversation.

Listen here or wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify and more:


Dr Barry Oulton

For more information, visit

The Probe Dental Podcast is presented by The Dental Awards.

The Dental Awards is the original and most respected awards programme in British dentistry. 2021 marks the 22nd anniversary of the Dental Awards, and over the decades, this prestigious event has recognised the outstanding individuals and teams whose commitment and drive continue to raise standards throughout the profession.

The Dental Awards are sponsored by B.A. International, Colgate, Colosseum Dental, Dental Elite, and Water Pik. The Probe and The British Dental Conference & Dentistry Show are official partners.

For more information, please visit

For more from The Probe, visit Theme tune courtesy of Bensound.


Barriers to water fluoridation to be demolished in radical NHS reforms

Course Dates: Open-ended
Enrollment Dates: Enroll Anytime
Who can Enroll:
Price: FREE

About the Course

The announcement in the White Paper that responsibility for water fluoridation is to be returned into the control of central Government is welcomed by the British Fluoridation Society and the many dentists, public health officials and social justice campaigners who support the work of the BFS.

For some time, it’s been clear that water fluoridation is supported in Westminster. The hope of campaigning organisations like BFS was that NHS England would provide the funding that is essential to implement water fluoridation schemes.

But our hopes have been surpassed. The planned reforms go much further: by undoing the 2012 Health and Social Care Act, which devolved control of water fluoridation to local authorities, the Government is breaking down numerous barriers. It is taking back responsibility for funding and implementing water fluoridation and will be in a position to  drive forward and implement schemes.

Some 6m people in the UK benefit from a fluoridated water supply and in those areas, oral health is better than in neighbouring non-fluoridated areas. Research shows that the greater the deprivation, the greater the benefit that water fluoridation bestows.

Currently, it is local authorities that must fund the costs of water fluoridation, negotiate with water companies and carry out public consultations. While there is a commitment to improve oral health, especially in children, in many areas, the cost and work involved is too high when there are many competing demands and budgets are limited. There have been no new schemes since the 1980s and plans to extend schemes have repeatedly stalled.

Barry Cockcroft

The proposals in the White Paper are set to make a radical difference. The plans will require legislation with implementation of reforms due to start in 2022. The Government has committed to engaging with the devolved administrations on the White Paper. BFS hopes that all areas of the UK where children’s oral health needs are highest will be able to benefit from water fluoridation.

“We would like to see the Government moving forward with targeted water fluoridation in the areas of high need as soon as possible,” commented Barry Cockcroft, BFS advocate and former CDO England. “We look forward to learning if local authorities  with plans for a water fluoridation scheme already in place, such as in the North East, can proceed soon, with the cost of the mandatory public consultation met by Government. We welcome the advent of public consultations and the opportunity to share the extensive amount of research on the benefits of water fluoridation.”