Trainee dentists ‘left with no job’ in NHS
Around 100 dentists will be left without jobs in the NHS and forced into private work or abroad due to a shortage of training places.
Despite spending more than £30m on two new dental schools to increase the numbers of dental graduates and boost access to NHS dentistry there are too few training places for them to ensure they can work in the health service, it has emerged.
It costs £250,000 to put each graduate through dental school and around 100 have been left without a place on the postgraduate training course which is compulsory for them to work in the NHS.
Their only option is to enrol in a private postgraduate course which means they will not be able to work in the NHS or leave the country and practice elsewhere.
Competition from overseas graduates has made entry into the postgraduate course even tougher.
A dentist involved in training, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “The cost of setting these dental schools up and of training the students is completely wasted if there are not vocational places for all the UK students who need them.
“It is the fact UK students have to do vocational training, that other EU students do not have to but are eligible to apply to vocational training and have in some cases had offers which has displaced graduates in England and Wales from the system.”
The problem mirrors that of junior doctors in the shake-up of medical training in 2007 which left thousands without training posts and choosing to either reapply the following year or go abroad.
A dental undergraduate told the Daily Telegraph: “The NHS system insists on an vocational training course, and it could even be said that without such a course, a graduate dentist will be lacking in fundamental skills to practice as a dentist.
“The fact that the Department of Health approved the opening of new dental schools five years ago in order to counteract the deficit of NHS dentists, but then does not provision for any more dentists to join the compulsory foundation training shows incredible lack of foresight, and just seems to totally go against any kind of common sense.”
He added: “As I will be barred from working for the NHS in the UK next year (and most likely throughout my dental career as vocational training is compulsory if you want to work for the NHS, and must be completed within 18 months of graduating), I will be beginning my dental career in Australia.
“I think it is obvious that the current system is flawed and failing to help to alleviate the shortage of NHS dentists.”
Dr Susie Sanderson, chairman of the British Dental Association’s Executive Board, said: “While we do not have an accurate picture about the unsuccessful candidates who have completely failed to get placements, what is clear is that a number of applicants have been informed, in an extremely insensitive way, that they have been unsuccessful before it is even clear how many training places will be released during the rest of the year. That is appalling.
“While the development of a new system for applying for training places is a positive development, because it seeks to replace a flawed predecessor, it is clear that one of the critical issues continues, as in years previously, to be the mismatch between numbers of candidates and training places made available.
“Taxpayers and the students themselves have invested heavily in the education and development of these individuals. To squander that investment by now denying them the opportunity to work in the NHS is ludicrous. Government needs to look very carefully at this situation, ascertain the full facts, and deal with it.”
Barry Cockcroft, Chief Dental Officer, said: “There is no statutory time limit within which dental graduates must start their vocational training. In 2011, only 21 out of around 900 applicants were unsuccessful in getting vocational training places. Most of these dentists were found temporary posts in which to keep their clinical skills up to date and should get vocational training places at a later date.
“926 applicants have been offered places to start in August 2012 already. There has been greater competition for training places in 2012, however, the final outcome of the recruitment round is dependent on examinations in June, so additional places are expected to become available.”
How BBC wrongly predicted bad news for British economy (and then relegated the story when the figures were actually good)
Two hours before Britain’s economic figures were released yesterday, the BBC enthusiastically predicted that growth would be ‘even worse than we thought’.
The potential economic slowdown was discussed at length in grave tones for three and a half minutes on Radio 4’s flagship Today programme.
The issue was considered important enough to be placed third on the programme’s news bulletins at 7.30am and 8am.
Unfortunately, their pessimistic predictions were wrong. Instead of growth being worse than forecast, it was better.
But rather than injecting a more optimistic tone into their analysis, they simply relegated the story to being an also-ran.
Indeed it dropped off some later bulletins altogether. The World at One on Radio 4 did not include it in its headlines, neither did BBC1’s 1pm news.
Earlier on the Today programme, the normally scrupulously impartial John Humphrys introduced the economy story with a dose of doom.
He said: ‘We know the economy is slowing down, which is another way of saying the nation won’t be getting much richer, if at all. But today the latest revised growth figures will be published and everyone seems to think they will show it’s even worse than we thought.’
While questioning economics editor Stephanie Flanders, Humphrys asked if it would mean ‘most people are actually worse off than they were’.
Flanders replied: ‘So far there is a surprising degree of resignation in the face of austerity and the fact that pay packets at the top are going up.’
Humphrys then suggested that ‘people are getting fed up’ with austerity measures. Less than two hours later the ONS released figures saying that the UK economy grew by 0.6 per cent between July and September – faster than previous estimates of 0.5 per cent.
The issue was discussed for a minute on the World at One, with presenter Shaun Ley introducing the story by saying the economy had expanded slightly more than had been thought. However, he concluded: ‘The prospects for the New Year are far from encouraging.’
On the BBC1 News at One, where the issue did not make the headlines, presenter Sophie Raworth did at least introduce the story as ‘a bit of good news’. On the BBC website, the economic figures from the ONS languished at eighth on their news schedule.
By 5pm, the story had finally been given a more prominent spot, when it was fourth on the news schedule on Radio 4’s PM programme.
Philip Davies, Tory MP for Shipley, said: ‘This is what we have come to expect from the BBC. They leap on anything damaging to the Government, but when there is anything positive they want to bury it.’
Last night the BBC responded: ‘It’s nonsense to suggest we did not cover the fact that the figure was revised up from the original calculation. The Radio 4 13.00 and 18.00 bulletins, the News at One, News at Six and News at Ten all clearly stated in their introductions that the 3rd quarter figure for GDP growth was higher than originally calculated.’
Food in Scotland should be laced with vitamin D to stave off MS, experts say
I am surprised that this is not done already. Vitamin D supplementation in butter etc. practically eradicated rickets in the 1940s. Any supplementation should however be clearly identified on the label so that those wishing to avoid the supplement can do so. There are some dangers in high doses of vitamin D
Scotland’s food supply should be laced with vitamin D in a bid to cut the high rate of multiple sclerosis (MS) in the sun-deprived region, experts have said. Scotland has some of the highest MS levels in the world and many experts believe vitamin D deficiency is a contributing factor.
Vitamin D deficiency is caused by a lack of sunlight and for half of the year no one living in Scotland gets enough UBV rays from the the sun on their skin to make adequate levels of the vitamin D, it has been reported.
In addition, many do not eat enough of the foods that contain it, such as oily fish, which has led to international health experts calling for the food supply in the Scotland to be fortified with the vitamin.
Oxford academic Professor George Ebers says the evidence of the link between MS and vitamin D deficiency is so strong it warrants fortifying food with it, the Guardian reported.
Professor Ebers, from the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, and his team this month published their findings of a genetic link between MS and an uncommon inability for the body to produce vitamin D.
He told The Guardian: ‘Now the question is, can we finally persuade the public health authorities that they should supplement the population?’
There have long been theories that high numbers of people with MS live in areas deprived of sunshine – while low levels of those in countries with year-round sunshine. However, the authors of this new report claim it offers strong scientific evidence. About 10,000 people in Scotland have MS.
Scotland’s chief medical officer said this sort of change would only be considered after ‘broader scientific consensus’.
Sir Harry Burns told The Guardian: ‘It is important to remember that dietary supplements can have harmful as well as positive consequences and recommendations need to be made on the basis of evidential benefit in well conducted randomised studies in large populations. ‘Mass medication of the Scottish population without such evidence would be considered irresponsible by the public health community.’
The MS Society in Scotland is championing a campaign launched by a 13-year-old boy whose mother had the disease diagnosed. Shine on Scotland is teenager Ryan McLaughlin’s response to vitamin D deficiency. His mother, Kirsten McLaughlin, is very ill in hospital with MS. The campaign has seen Ryan meet with Government officials to appeal for vitamin D-fortified food.
The youngsters father, Alan, revealed that the campaign had persuaded Kellogg’s to add the vitamin to cereals.
Top British soccer player, John Terry, hauled into court over language on the field
“Terry learned at the end of a damp training session at Chelsea’s training ground near Cobham, Surrey, that he will be brought before a district judge and charged.
The order for Terry to appear before a district judge relates to a penalty box clash with QPR defender Anton Ferdinand in October. Prosecutors decided there was enough evidence, including TV images of the incident that were beamed around the world, to put him on trial.
He is accused of calling Ferdinand a `f****** black ****’ during the match at QPR’s Loftus Road stadium.
But afterwards he told Ferdinand, whose brother Rio plays alongside Terry for England, that the remarks had been taken out of context, insisting he actually said: `Oi, Anton, do you think I called you a black ****?’
Terry will first appear in court next February but the case is likely to drag on for up to six months as lawyers prepare for a trial. The maximum punishment Terry faces is a œ2,500 fine, a sum he earns in just two hours and 38 minutes on his œ160,000-a-week salary.
Last night, Terry, 31, said he was `disappointed’ with the decision and that he hoped to clear his name `as quickly as possible’. He said: `I have never aimed a racist remark at anyone and count people from all races and creeds among my closest friends.
Heated passions on the field are normal and should be treated that way.