FGDP(UK) would like to remind dental practices of the need to ensure that their use of dental x-ray equipment is registered with the Health and Safety Executive.
The new requirement to register – which supersedes the previous requirement of notification – has been the key message from Professor Keith Horner, co-editor of FGDP(UK)’s Selection Criteria for Dental Radiography, in his analyses last year of the Ionising Radiation Regulations 2017 (IRR17) and Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations 2017 (IRMER17).
IRR17, which took effect on 1 January 2018 in England, Scotland and Wales, requires all dental practices working with ionising radiation – including those who will previously have notified the HSE of this - to register using a new online portal, and pay a £25 fee.
Application for registration needs to be completed before 5 February 2018, and is the responsibility of the employer, rather than individual dentists - though many GDPs will need to register in their capacity as employers. For owners of multiple practices, only a single registration is required, and periodic re-registration will not be required unless there is a significant change to the registrant’s details.
However, some users of the new system have reported difficulties, and FGDP(UK) recommends starting the online registration process as soon as possible, and says practices should seek support from their Radiation Protection Advisor if they have not already received it.
IRMER17 takes effect on 6 February 2018, also in England, Scotland and Wales. Separate regulations will be produced later for Northern Ireland, and dentists there should continue to comply with IRR(NI)2000 and IRMER(NI)2000 until these are implemented.
Professor Horner was recently awarded an Honorary Fellowship by FGDP(UK) for his longstanding service to the Faculty and the profession.