On 9 July, the British Dental Association (BDA) was sent a copy of a letter from health secretary, Andrew Lansley, to the chairmen of the Review Body (DDRB).
The letter said that there was no need for it to make any recommendations for the dentists’ or GPs’ pay in 2013/14. This is despite a pledge made in December last year to reinstate the Review Body process, which was suspended in 2010.
These revelations come not from the BDA (nor BMA), but in an article in the GP magazine Pulse. In a newsletter from the BDA dated 29 August, there is no mention of this bad news.
In response to Dentistry, Dr John Milne, chair of the BDA’s general dental practice committee, said: 'We value the independent review of pay for hard-working NHS dentists, particularly at a time when their incomes have been cut, so the government’s decision not to refer to DDRB this year is extremely disappointing.'
The Lansley letter also said that his Department would negotiate on any uplift for practice expenses directly with the professions.
But, he added, further ‘quality and efficiency gains' might be needed next year. The need for these efficiency savings led to a fee increase of 0.5% this year.
John Milne said: 'When we meet the Department of Health to discuss pay, we will press for recognition of the effect of rising expenses and oppose any imposition of further "efficiencies".”