Young dentists are calling for support for their demand for the government to guarantee all graduates from UK dental schools a Dental Foundation Training (DFT) place.
The demand comes in the British Dental Association’s (BDA’s) newly published YDC Asks, a mini-manifesto for young dentists developed by the organisation’s Young Dentists Committee (YDC).
The committee is asking those who support it to sign a Government e-petition founded by YDC Chair Dr Martin Nimmo. The petition argues that the failure to allocate DFT places to UK graduates both wastes taxpayers’ money invested in their training, because denying each individual a DFT place means that they are prevented from providing NHS care, and is unfair to the graduates who taken on significant amounts of debt in order to complete their studies.
The launch of the petition follows a recent admission by the Department of Health (DH) that 35 UK graduates from the 2011 cohort have not been allocated DFT places. Each graduate, DH acknowledged, will have cost the public purse approximately £150,000 to train.
Dr Martin Nimmo, chair of the BDA’s Young Dentists Committee, said: ‘It is perverse that students who have strived hard to pursue a career in NHS care are being denied the training places they need to fulfil that ambition. This is a significant waste of taxpayers’ money, and a tragedy for the graduates who have taken on large amounts of debt in pursuing their vocation. Given that there are some areas of the UK where patients who wish to access NHS care cannot do so, it is also nonsensical.
‘I urge all current and potential members of the profession, and taxpayers, to join young dentists in calling for a guarantee that this farcical situation will never be allowed to happen again.’
YDC Asks also expresses concerns that robust data should be used in workforce planning, that barriers to young dentists becoming practice owners are mounting and that careers in dental academia and specialist training must remain viable options for young dentists.