Dental date move

The start date for Dental Foundation and Dental Core Training will be moving to early September to improve supervision of dental trainees and promote better patient care.

The change will be introduced from September 2014 for Dental Foundation.

Training posts in general dental practice and by 2015 for Dental Core Training posts in hospital and salaried services and general dental practice.

In the past, most dental training posts have started during August, when many trainers, educational and clinical supervisors and experienced nursing and support staff are on holiday. There have been reports of a general increased level of untoward incidents in hospitals during August and consequent impact on patients.

In 2012, London Deanery took the first step to move the start date of dental foundation training to September. COPDEND carried out a wide consultation to find out what the profession thought about adopting this more widely and the majority view was that they too wanted to avoid the peak holiday season for changeover of staff.

A COPDEND working group, led by Alex Baxter, postgraduate dental dean from East of England, which included representatives from hospital and general dental practice, the British Dental Association and the British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, proposed the following recommendations that have been endorsed by COPDEND:

• By 2014 all Dental Foundation Training (DFT) posts will commence on a fixed date at the beginning of September. This will be the same date for all trainees in England.

• By 2015 Dental Core Training posts (formerly known as DF2, Career Development and Dental SHO posts) will commence on an agreed fixed date in September.

• Dental Core Trainees starting in August 2014 should be given a 13-month contract by the employer organisation to ensure service continuity in August 2015

• By September 2015 and every September thereafter, all dental foundation and core training posts will revert to a standard 12 month contract.

• On line educational packages should be developed to support dental trainees working in hospitals for the first time.

Some Deaneries will move to a September start date earlier than this, and so some dental trainees starting Dental Core Training this Autumn will be offered 13 month posts.

Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are reviewing their policies and considering the impact for them.

Staging the introduction of September start dates will give employers and trainers time to plan changes to their local induction programmes and ensure appropriate service cover is provided.

Helen Falcon, COPDEND chair said: ‘I acknowledge that some of the profession would have preferred to stick with the status quo, but am convinced that the benefits to patients from having experienced staff available to support new trainees and to avoid the peak holiday season is the right thing to do. COPDEND is committed to working with stakeholders to develop educational materials for NHS Trusts which will be employing dental graduates who may be in their first hospital job.’

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