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BDA investigating legal options

The BDA is exploring legal options to challenge Government plans to impose a pay cut on foundation dentists of more than £2,000 from September.

Following a consultation on the issue, the Department of Health has confirmed that the pay cut will apply to FDs (foundation dentists) in England.

It is also expected to apply to trainees in Wales and Northern Ireland.

Chair of the British Dental Association’s Principal Executive Committee, Mick Armstrong, said: 'We have made clear to the Department of Health on numerous occasions that seeking efficiency savings from FDs is inappropriate, and unfairly penalises young dentists who are not in a position to resist this pressure.

'This is a view that is widely shared by the profession as we know from the 6,700 signatories who responded to our petition opposing these cuts.

'We are both angry and disappointed over the failure to grasp the strength of feeling against these cuts, which frankly many see as an attempt to prey on the most vulnerable members of the profession.

'It is also unacceptable that these young dentists have been given ridiculously short notice of this change.

'We will be seeking expert legal opinion to explore options to challenge this decision.'

The BDA believes that targeting young dentists with a pay cut of eight per cent at the start of their careers is a cynical move that exploits the most vulnerable members of the profession and it opposes any pay cut to FD salaries.

The Department of Health has said that the pay cut brings dental salaries in line with their medical equivalents.

However, the BDA does not believe this adds up, and have stated that, with the opportunity to earn additional NHS income, medical trainees at the same point in their career earn on average nearly £40,000, compared to this new salary of £28,076 for foundation dentists.

The BDA has been running a campaign to oppose the cuts, which has won support on Twitter, where the BDA is encouraging tweets using the hashtag #DFTPay, and on the BDA’s Facebook page.

Dental professionals can still add their names to a BDA petition opposing the reduction in the salary paid to FDs.

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