Rob Merrick

Rob Merrick

Author at Dentistry Online

Parliamentary correspondent
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Warning after teething treatments cause 10 deaths

Parents have been told not to use US-made homeopathic teething treatments after claims they are to blame for the deaths of 10 children in America. British health officials issued the warning after a US investigation also linked the tablets and gels to 400 cases of seizures and other reactions in youngsters. Symptoms can include difficulty in … Continued

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Labour calls for investigation into GDC’s spending

The National Audit Office should investigate the General Dental Council’s hefty legal and PR bills, the government has been told. Labour called for Parliament’s watchdog to step in after the regulator was criticised for high spending during a recent whistleblowing enquiry and grilling by a committee of MPs. The British Dental Association revealed that the … Continued

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Time-limited contracts slammed

Dentists’ leaders have attacked George Osborne’s plans for ‘time-limited’ contracts and demanded urgent talks. The British Dental Association (BDA) reacted with alarm to a surprise Treasury proposals to impose limits on new agreements in order to trigger greater competition between practices. A document released by the Chancellor described the current, timeless contracts as a system … Continued

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Osbourne promises ‘a better deal’ for dentistry

George Osborne has included NHS dentistry on a hit-list of professions where customers deserve ‘a better deal’. The Chancellor attacked ‘opaque and confusing’ dental charges, ‘inaccurate information’ about treatments and ‘rigid regulatory controls’, which restrict patient choice. A 25-page ‘blueprint for a better deal’ put dentistry alongside everything from mobile phones, broadband, water bills and … Continued

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Seven-day NHS debate

A seven-day-a-week NHS should not be introduced just to help people with ‘busy lives’, a senior Conservative MP told ministers. Sara Wollaston, the chairwoman of the Commons Health Select Committee, said a case could be made for a seven-day NHS if it cut weekend deaths and unnecessary hospital admissions and improved quality. But, during a … Continued

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Private dentists are more motivated than NHS dentists

Dentists would be happier if they ditched NHS work and treated only private patients, a striking Government analysis suggests. The study – into ‘motivation and morale’ – also found that dentists are least satisfied about their pay, when ranked alongside questions about ‘recognition’, ‘equipment’, ‘challenge’ and ‘progression’. Overall, providing-performer dentists in England and Wales were … Continued

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End to pay progression for NHS dentists

Dentists’ leaders are seeking urgent answers after the Health Secretary announced plans to axe annual pay progression – criticising it for rewarding ‘time in the job’. Jeremy Hunt revealed that fresh negotiations with NHS workers would focus on how to remove the ‘virtually automatic’ pay hikes, as well as on creating a seven-day health service. … Continued

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Sugar recommendations accepted

The Government has vowed to act on key recommendations made by official nutrition advisers to cut Britain’s so-called ‘addiction to sugar’. However, ministers have ruled out a ‘sugar tax’ – demanded by the British Dental Association and other campaigners – but without explaining why. The moves follow the publication of guidance by the Scientific Advisory … Continued

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Dentist on ‘trumped-up charges’

A parliamentary committee has been urged to investigate the suspension of a dentist on ‘trumped-up charges’. A Conservative MP used parliamentary privilege to accuse the General Dental Council (GDC) of wrongly targeting David Barnett, a dentist in his Worthing west constituency. Peter Bottomley, a minister under Margaret Thatcher, also urged the Commons health select committee … Continued

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New guidelines coming for dentistry

New national guidelines will be published within weeks to iron out inconsistencies in a wide range of dental treatments. The commissioning guides have already been drawn up by NHS England and are expected to approved for publication at a meeting later this month. They will cover: Specialist dentistry services Special care dentistry Oral surgery and … Continued

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Burt announced as new dentistry minister

MPs will come face-to-face with the dentistry minister again, after David Cameron dropped the experiment of giving the job to a peer. The popular Alistair Burt – returning to the Government, 18 months after he was surprisingly sacked – will be responsible for all primary care, including dentistry. The veteran Mr Burt, a social security … Continued

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Dental hospital attacks dentists

Experts at a dental hospital have launched a blistering attack on the quality of care given to children by local dentists – describing it as unacceptable. Advice on preventing decay is ‘not being adequately delivered’, according to the paediatric dentistry team at the University of Liverpool Dental Hospital and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. As a … Continued