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Dentists’ pay: What we do for you

Each year we use your evidence to fight for fairer pay for associates, practice owners, community dentists (PDS in Scotland), and we call for pay parity for dental clinical academics.

We work across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and provide evidence to the Governments on your behalf.

We use your evidence to fight for fairer pay for associates, practice owners, community dentists (PDS in Scotland), and we call for pay parity for dental clinical academics.

We work across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and provide evidence to the Governments on your behalf. 

For 2019/20 we called for a rise for all dental practitioners of an inflation linked award of RPI (at 3 per cent) plus two per cent.


We need NHS dentistry to grow and for that, dentists and their practices, or clinics, need more sustainable investment.

 

We argued forcefully this year that NHS and Health Service dentistry needs to be placed on a sustainable footing if it is to continue.

Our evidence shows, that the higher the level of National Health Service commitment by dentists, the lower the levels of morale and motivation are for professionals.

This year we gave specific evidence focused on: 

 

  • General Dental Practice
  • Community Dental Services (including PDS in Scotland)
  • Clinical Academic Staff

 

What happened for the 2019/20 pay uplifts?

For England, the Department announced a 2.42% uplift on contracts backdated to April 2019 and which will appear on October schedules. This will apply to all GDS contracts and PDS agreements. Following consultation with the BDA, we asked for parity with Wales and Scotland of 2.5% but the Department and HM Treasury will only calculate the formulae in England using CPI not RPI. Dentists on national pay scales (hospital dentists) should have received a 2.5% increase on salary scales also backdated to April 2019.

 

In Wales and Scotland – the uplift on pay and expenses will be 2.5% calculated using RPI.

 

In Northern Ireland we continue to call on the Department of Health to apply uplifts in a more timely fashion given that the 2018/19 uplift was only recently applied.

 

How is dentists' pay decided?

The independent body responsible for making recommendations on pay is called the Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration (known as DDRB).

 

Each year, they are asked by the Government(s) to make a recommendation for setting levels of pay, based on evidence of recruitment/retention, morale and motivation in the profession.

 

In the summer each year, the Secretary to the Treasury writes to the DDRB outlining the Government's approach to pay.

 

To formally open the next round of evidence submissions, the Secretary of State for Health issues a letter to the DDRB, formally opening the process and outlining their remit for England, and the other UK Governments' do the same.

These remit letters advise the DDRB of the areas it wishes the them to make a recommendation on, and any special areas of consideration (i.e. how much budget is available).

The DDRB then ask all the groups and organisations affected by the process to submit evidence usually in September.

All parties submit their evidence and publish on their own websites.

The DDRB then takes oral evidence sessions from the groups and organisations, two months after written submissions are received.

 

Current and previous recommendations and evidence: Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists'.

 

NHS dental contract clawback

Where contracts in England under-deliver on their target UDAs by more than 4%, this money is clawed back by NHS England. In recent years, the amount clawed back has increased from £54.5 million in 2015/16 to £81.5 million in 2016/17 and £88.8 million in 2017/18 and in Wales £20 million has been lost from NHS dental services.

We are investigating the reasons for this, and the underlying issues with dentists fulfilling their contracts, including issues with recruitment, pressures from regulation, patient access, low UDA values, and the feasibility of working under NHS dental contracts.

We will continue to push for a reformed NHS dental contract that works for the profession and their patients.

 

What does the BDA do?

Each year, we gather a huge amount of evidence from all areas of the profession, including surveying associates and practice owners, community dentists and other groups, as well as using evidence from Freedom of Information Act requests and official sources of data, to help make the case for dentistry.

 

Keep up to date

Read our blogs to find out what we are doing in each of the four UK countries to fight for fairer pay for dentists.

Working for you

If you'd like to be kept informed about developments on this issue, make sure your details are up-to-date on your MyBDA record and tick the box under 'contact preferences' to get latest news updates. 

We campaign on a range of issues affecting dentists and dentistry today. We make sure that dentists' views are represented when it comes to health policy being developed by government and other key organisations: join us.