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Dental Tribune United Kingdom Edition

4 News United Kingdom Edition November 2013 W hile Christmas can be a very joyous occasion, for some it can bring a period of strug- gle. For dentists who have found themselves in serious fi- nancial crisis, this time of year can sometimes mean deciding whether you can afford to heat your home and feed your family, rather than how you are going to celebrate over the festive season. At this crucial time of year many dentists turn to the BDA Benevolent Fund for help. Dr Ann Rockey, Chairman of the Fund, says: “Please consider your colleagues in need this Christmas? We all know what an expensive time of year it is with increased fuel bills, the ever-in- creasing costs of a supermarket shop, Christmas and the GDC Annual Retention Fee on top. Every year we have requests for assistance from dentists in need. In recent years there has been a threefold increase in the number of applicants who are in difficul- ties with their commissioning bodies or the GDC”. Vital funds have already been raised by 80 dentists and their partners who took to the dance floor and raised £2,485 for the Fund. Organised by Dr Ann Rockey and Dr Pam Norman, South Wales Trustee for the Board of Trustees of the Fund, the dinner dance was held at the Cardiff Village Hotel in April. For more information, call 020 7486 44994, email admin- or visit www.bdabenevolentfund. DT Consider your colleagues in need this Christmas A 20 per cent tax on sugary drinks could reduce the number of obese adults in the UK by 180,000. Researchers from the University of Oxford and Uni- versity of Reading carried out the study, which is published in the British Medical Journal. It was found that the tax could also raise more than £275 million for the Treasury. Sugary drinks (fizzy drinks, squashes and cordials) have been shown to increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascu- lar disease and tooth decay. They only suppress appetite weakly, so consuming fewer sugary drinks is unlikely to result in an increased intake of other sourc- es of calories. For the study, the researchers used a large survey of shopping preferences of families in the UK to estimate how purchases of sugary drinks would change in response to a 20 per cent in- crease in their price. The research suggests that purchases of sugary drinks would reduce by around 15 per cent, with the expected reduction in energy intake being 28 calories per person per week. This would reduce the numberofobeseadultsby180,000 in the UK, it was estimated. Dr Adam Briggs from Oxford University and joint first author of the study, says: “Sugar sweet- ened drinks are known to be bad for health and our research indi- cates that a 20 per cent tax could result in a meaningful reduction in the number of obese adults in the UK.” Professor Richard Tiffin of the University of Reading says: “Obesity is a ticking time bomb. Doing nothing risks condemn- ing millions of people to poor health and an early grave. This is a complex battle in which a soft drinks tax could be a useful weapon, but on its own would not go far enough in the face of such a massive problem. Seden- tary lifestyles, poor education, addiction to alcohol and tobacco, and poverty all play far more sig- nificant roles than fizzy drinks in causing bad health.” DT Fizzy drinks tax could reduce obesity by 180,000 Taxing fizzy drinks call N HS Direct will be closed down in England next year following financial difficulty after winning a number of contracts for the 111 phone line. The NHS Direct service ran from the late 1990s until April this year, when the 111 service was launched. The 111 ser- vice was split into 46 different contracts and NHS Direct won 11 of them. However, due to lower payment per call com- pared to when it ran the old 0845 number and lower call volumes than expected, NHS Direct lost £2.8m from April to June and was heading for a deficit of £26m if it continued until March. NHS Direct also runs a number of other services, in- cluding an information web- site, GP appointments booking phone line and complaints ser- vice. Many of these are expect- ed to be transferred to other parts of the health service. NHS England has overseen arrangements to transfer 111 services currently provided by NHS Direct to a range of pro- viders, predominantly ambu- lance trusts. The NHS Direct group in Wales is unaffected. DT NHS Direct to close down S imon Stevens, a senior executive at a private US health firm, has been ap- pointed to lead NHS England. Simon will take over from Sir David Nicholson on 1 April 2014. He has worked as an NHS manager, a health advis- er to Labour, and is currently working for United Healthcare as its global health president. Chairman Professor Sir Malcolm Grant said: “I am de- lighted that Simon will be tak- ing on this exceptionally chal- lenging leadership role for the NHS. He has huge experience, both national and global, and across all sectors, and is admired by healthcare pro- fessionals across the world for his commitment to the val- ues of the NHS and to the pro- vision of quality healthcare for all. “He brings a wealth of ideas and unique experience, build- ing on a distinguished career across the NHS, international healthcare and government. I look forward to working closely with him as we lead innovation, change and signif- icant improvement in safety and quality to patients across all areas of the NHS. “We have been through a rigorous global search, and engaged with a range of ex- cellent candidates. I am con- fident that Simon Stevens is the right person to lead NHS England through the coming years, bringing new ideas and fresh energy.” Simon Stevens said: “The next five years are going to be extremely challenging for the NHS, but compassionate high quality for all is as vital as ever. It will be a privilege to lead NHS England – at a time when the stakes have never been higher – because I believe in the NHS, and be- cause I believe that a broad new partnership of patients, carers, staff and the public can together chart a success- ful future for our Health Ser- vice.” DT Simon Stevens appointed new NHS boss T his year saw the largest amount of people taking part in Stoptober, the mass 28-day stop smoking challenge. Nearly quarter of a million people in England and Wales took part in the campaign and gave up smoking. Research shows that stopping smoking for 28 days can extend your life by up to one week if you remain smoke-free. If those who gave up quit for good, they could collectively add as much as 4,700 years of life to the population. The benefits aren’t only health-related; there are ma- jor savings in time and money too. The average smoker has 13 cigarettes a day. Stoptober would have saved them £141 each over four weeks, and if they remain smoke-free, they could save £1,696 in a year. Plus, the average cigarette takes approximately four minutes to smoke, so this Stoptober could have saved the average smoker over 24 hours by not smoking. DT Stoptober challenge reaches new high Pictured: Simon Stevens. Image source: AP