The next stage in exemptions

NHS England UK-wide public consultation on proposals to introduce the use of exemptions within medicines legislation by dental hygienists and dental therapists

Dental hygienists and dental therapists are trained, indemnified and competent in the supply and administration of certain prescription only medicines. Currently, they can administer and supply by using a patient specific direction (PSD) or a patient group direction (PGD). These mechanisms have both advantages and disadvantages. In April 2017, NHS England commenced a programme of work which includes taking forwards the proposal for dental hygienists and dental therapists to use exemptions within the Human Medicines Regulations 2012, to supply and administer a specific list of prescription only medicines directly to patients in the course of their professional practice, such as topical local anaesthetic and fluoride treatments.

The aim of this proposal is to make it more convenient and safer for patients to receive the medicines they need at the time and place when they need them. This will reduce the need for patients to attend additional appointments just to receive the medicines needed, which often results in unnecessary inconvenience and delays to the start of treatment.

The British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) and the British Association of Dental Therapists (BADT) with one united voice, are working with NHS England to take forwards this proposal which requires amendments to be made to UK-wide medicines legislation. If approved by Ministers, dental hygienists and dental therapists within the UK, who meet the eligibility criteria to undertake additional education, would need to successfully compete this training before being able to use exemptions within their practice.

BSDHT and BADT, in collaboration with a number of key stakeholders, have developed the following documents to support the NHS England-led consultation:

  • Draft Practice Guidance for Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists for the Supply and Administration of Medicines under Exemptions within the Human Medicines Regulations 2012
  • Draft Outline Curriculum Framework for Education Programmes to Prepare Dental Therapists and Dental Hygienists to use Exemptions

Please take time to read these documents, which explain the proposals thoroughly and respond to the consultation on the NHS England website here