With the help of the British Dental Association (BDA) and others, NHS England has agreed to use of its executive powers to extend the grace period until 31 January 2017, so that foundation dentists can carry on working beyond 1 December.
This follows the well-publicised catalogue of mismanagement by NHS England’s contractor, Capita (operating as PCSE).
The BDA’s chair of General Dental Practice, Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen, said: ‘Quite simply if NHS England hadn’t extended this deadline, over 500 foundation dentists would have had to stop working on 1 December. We were clear that when a subcontractor fails, our members should not be expected to pay the price.’
All foundation dentists are required to be included in the list within three months of starting their training post (usually 30 November).
And in terms of the regulations, foundation dentists cannot work unless they are included in the list at that point.
Failings at Capita had left as many as 550 foundation dentists in jeopardy due to administrative delays in being added to the list.
Since May the BDA has been highlighting the serious issues being experienced by dental practices in getting foundation dentists attached to the list, causing potential financial losses and stress to both performers and contract holders.
The Association has been in daily contact with PCSE/Capita, highlighting individual ongoing problems and delays and trying to help find solutions.
‘This progress shows what can be achieved when we stand together. Now foundation dentists can carry on with their work, while the NHS England and Capita focus on clearing up this mess. I know many colleagues are still facing needless uncertainty, and we will continue to offer our support to providers and performers in the months ahead,’ Henrik concluded.