GDC’s decision to freeze the annual retention fee (ARF) at £120 for dental nurses in 2013 is ‘inadequate’ says Nicola Docherty, leader of the BADN
The decision, announced late on Friday afternoon, shows that the GDC is ‘out of touch with registrants’ says Nicola.
‘We have supplied the GDC with detailed information on dental nurse salaries, showing that the £120 ARF causes considerable financial hardship to dental nurses. We have also requested that the GDC lower the ARF for dental nurses to a fee more in line with salaries – instead of charging dental nurses the same ARF as hygienists and therapists – and that they implement a special fee for those working part time.’
A recent salary survey conducted by British Association of Dental Nurses shows that the majority of registered dental nurses are paid between £10,000 and £20,000 per year – in contrast with hygienists and therapists, whose recommended starting salary is £26,000.
However, the GDC has decided to continue charging one ARF to all DCPs, completely disregarding the fact that dental nurses earn less than half that of hygienists and therapists.
Nicola added: ‘The BADN has always supported, and continues to support, registration in principle, as being in the best interests of the patient. However, the GDC’s heavy handed and insensitive implementation, including the imposing of an unreasonable ARF, has alienated many dental nurses and must be rectified as soon as possible.’