BDA condemns lack of places for DFT dentists

The British Dental Association (BDA) has condemned news that 35 newly qualified dentists from UK institutions have not been allocated Dental Foundation Training (DFT) places this year. This will prevent them from providing care to NHS patients, because completion of DFT is a prerequisite for working in the NHS.

The cost to the public purse of training each of the 35 is likely to have been in the region of £155,000, meaning that almost £5.5million of taxpayers’ money has been spent on training them.

Confirmation of the number of individuals who have not been allocated training places and the cost to the public purse of their training came in written Parliamentary answers on 14 September.

Dr Judith Husband, chair of ethics, education and the dental team at the BDA, said: 'Taxpayers will be shocked to learn that they contributed such a significant sum of money to training dentists who have successfully qualified but will now be denied the opportunity to complete the training they need to work in the NHS. This situation is particularly disappointing given the challenging circumstances confronting public finances and the difficulties patients in some areas still face accessing NHS dental care.

'The situation also has a tragic personal aspect to it. These 35 individuals, who have worked hard to gain their dental qualification, will have taken on significant amounts of debt in order to complete their studies. Rejection by the NHS will be a serious blow.

'Government must look urgently at this fiasco and resolve it by making alternative arrangements for the unplaced graduates to undertake Dental Foundation Training. It must also act to ensure that future cohorts of newly qualified dentists are never confronted with such a situation.'

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