New contract for salaried dentists starts

The new contract for salaried primary care dentists in England comes into force this month.

It introduces mandatory annual appraisals, a new pay structure, job planning to support dentists’ career development and a 37.5-hour working week and covers all those who are on national terms and conditions.

A single pay spine replaces the existing four-grade structure with three main pay bands covering dentists, senior dentists, specialist dentists and dental managers.

Each band is split into six pay levels and dentists will have to show they have the relevant skills to move up.

Dentists voted to accept the contract at the end of last year following negotiation between the BDA and NHS Employers.

Janet Clarke, chair of the BDA’s central committee for community and public health dentistry, said, ‘We have worked hard for a fair and progressive contract and we are pleased it has won the support of salaried primary care dentists. The changes that it will introduce should benefit both salaried dentists and the patients they treat.’

Eric Rooney, NHS Employers’ lead negotiator and consultant in dental public health in Cumbria and Lancashire, said, ‘We are delighted that the proposals have been accepted by BDA members and that the new contract for salaried dentists can now be implemented.

‘The new contract is designed to provide a clear and flexible career structure which will improve the quality of salaried dentists’ working lives and help secure modernised dental services for patients.

‘The changes to pay and career development structures will also bring salaried dentists into line with other clinical staff in NHS,’ he added.

Trusts are starting to implement the new contract and all staff should be moved across by April.

A series of three roadshows will be held by the NHS Primary Care Contracting team this month to explain the new contract to PCT managers and dental clinical directors.

For more details of the new contract go to

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