The Government has confirmed a 1% pay increase for foundation dentists and a 1.14% uplift for general dental practitioners.
Along with this, the Government has frozen service costs for foundation dentist trainers, causing the British Dental Association (BDA) to express its concern, claiming there are currently recruitment issues for foundation dentist trainers.
‘Foundation training is a key part of ensuring the quality of NHS dentistry, and freezing these service cost payments, which cover the FD’s nurse, surgery labs and materials, is an act of unnecessary self-harm,’ Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen, the BDA’s chair of General Dental Practice, said.
‘The sustainability of the dental workforce depends on these trainers, and Government risks shutting down the pipeline in its search for savings.
‘A major review of foundation training is starting in September and we will reach out to trainers to ensure their voices are heard.’
End the pay cap
This was followed by an invitation to the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, to hold a summit to discuss the NHS pay crisis, which the unions believe is having a severe effect on recruitment and retention of staff across the UK.
Earlier this year NHS England decided to award dentists with a pay rise of 1% for 2017/18, after recommendation by the DDRB.
‘At the same time that child tooth extractions are surging, the government seems intent on making NHS dentistry unsustainable,’ Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen, the BDA’s chair of General Dental Practice, said at the time.
‘Dentists have seen a 35% drop in earnings in the past 10 years.
‘This uplift does nothing to address – let alone reverse – a drop that’s already impacting on our ability to deliver the improvements in facilities, equipment, and training our patients deserve.
‘We’re living in uncertain times with the fall in the value of the pound, the rise in the cost of materials and the spiralling costs of regulatory compliance, and all compounded by the chronic underinvestment in NHS dentistry.
‘This is a devastating blow for dentists’ morale; and these deep and sustained cuts have long ceased to be a question of “pay restraint” or “efficiency savings”.’