Dentists tell Government: impose junior contract, repent at leisure

Junior contractThe British Dental Association (BDA) has warned Government to step back from its plan to impose the junior contract.

The BDA argues that past impositions have only served to damage healthcare provision.

In 2006 the Government ended negotiations on the current NHS primary dental care contract for general dental practitioners.

The widely discredited contract remains in place.

It sparked an early exodus from NHS dentistry, and has been in operation as oral health inequalities in Britain have progressively widened.

Hospital dental trainees are employed on the same terms of service as junior doctors, and have taken part in recent industrial action alongside their medical colleagues.

Mick Armstrong, chair of the British Dental Association, said: ‘Governments that rush to impose healthcare contracts can repent at leisure.

‘It’s patients and practitioners that have to live with the unintended consequences.

‘The dental profession knows what happens when governments give up on negotiation.

‘In 2006 NHS dentists were forced into a new contract that was meant to improve access and reward preventive work.

‘It failed on its own terms, but 10 years on and we’re still saddled with it.

‘Imposing this flawed contract will not solve anything, and will only serve to prolong this dispute.

‘The Government needs to get back to the negotiating table.’


  1. 1

    Sadly, this is typical BDA!! Put out a tepid statement of discontent, and have absolutely no influence over the powers that be, whether its the GDC (re. ARF) or the Department of Health (e.g. junior dentist contracts, UDA contracts).

    The problem is that the BDA has a dual role of being a trade union for dentists, as well as a public health organisation. Since the ARF hike, there has been minimal comment from the BDA, instead concentrating all of its time on the “sugar crisis”. Although this is a laudable endevour, this should not be the function of a trade union, especially when issues like dentist contracts and GDC are being neglected.

    The difference between the BMA and the BDA has been shown by the junior doctors’ strike actions to be vast! The BMA is behaving how a trade union should, i.e. trying to ensure it gets the best results for its members. Sadly, the BDA has failed significantly to do this.

    As well as changes at the GDC, dentists should also be considering significant reforms at the BDA, or else consider the formation of a new trade union!

  2. 2

    HEE has recently issued a statement that they will withold funding from Foundation Trusts who will not impose the new contract. I believe that this could be legally challenged.

    We are witnessing a strategy to justify contraction of elective health care through the political manipulation of manpower. That”s what this is all about.

    South Kent has already commissioned health care in France and the lucrative Indian market is only a flight away, where a knee prosthesis of the highest standard is 25% of the cost in the UK.

    We are witnessing globalisation of the Free Market and this is being gerrimandered by manipulation of manpower.

    The Government will have no choice because there are insufficient doctors in the UK. Nor can they be imported because of revalidation.

    It’s a brilliant strategy…..

    And health care will go the same way as coal, steel, shipbuilding, manufacturing and engineering. It will be globalised.

    Our doctors will continue to leave what is left of the NHS. Many will go abroad to treat the NHS patients in medical tourism packages and dental “plaquage” holidays, whilst those at home will work in ring fenced emergency services now eligible for additional funding secondary to contraction of elective services.

    Others will follow the example of dentistry and move entirely into the private sector.

    As for the public? They will have to so what they are told.

    Bill Moyes will look after their interests

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