The British Dental Association has welcomed the announcement of £5 million extra capital funding to help dentists in Scotland prepare to meet new guidelines on decontamination that take effect in 2009.
The announcement, made by Minister for Public Health Shona Robison at NHS Education Scotland’s annual dental conference in Dunkeld, will see money made available immediately.
The BDA has expressed serious concerns about the ability of dental practices to comply with the guidelines, both in its manifesto for this year’s Scottish Parliamentary elections and in a recent meeting with Shona Robison.
Colin Crawford, chair of the BDA’s Scottish General Dental Practice Committee, said: ‘The guidelines that are expected to come into force in 2009 present significant challenges for high street dentists across Scotland.
‘This announcement will help to meet some of those challenges. The BDA has consistently warned of the problems dentists will face implementing this guidance and it is heartening to see that our concerns have been listened to.’
Andrew Lamb, BDA Director for Scotland, added: ‘This announcement sends a positive signal about the new Minister’s intention to work constructively with the profession.
‘The current audit of practices that will establish the extent of changes required and the development by the chief dental officer of a dental premises strategy may mean that further funding will be required.
‘Nonetheless, this is a welcome first step that shows the new administration is listening to the BDA. We look forward to further discussions to ensure adequate funding is available as the requirements for decontamination are developed.’