This year for 2018/19 we called for a rise for all dental practitioners of an inflation linked award plus two per cent.
We need NHS dentistry to grow and for that, dentists and their practices, or clinics, need more sustainable investment.
We believe there is a fast approaching crisis in the recruitment and retention of NHS primary care dentists in the UK.
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 our evidence focused on:
- General Dental Practice
- Community Dental Services (including PDS in Scotland)
- Clinical Academic Staff
- Dental careers
- Millennials and the changing workforce
- Impact of Brexit
We submitted detailed evidence to the pay review body (the Review Body on Doctor’s and Dentists’ Remuneration) on 18 December 2017.
What happens next?
We've said the recent pay deal between NHS staff unions and governments must set a precedent for all NHS professionals, including dentists.
Usually we expect the pay review body to report on its recommendations to Government around March/April each year.
However, because of the delay to the process in 2017 (with the general election and pre-election periods), the Government did not make an announcement on implementing the recommendations until 24 July 2018.
We responded to this delayed decision on a pay uplift of two per cent for dentists working in the NHS in England, saying that much more needs to be done to address the serious recruitment and retention problems across the service.
Breaking with tradition, in England many of the recommendations are staged, with some increases being backdated to April 2018, but some not being implemented until October 2018.
We still await news from the Governments in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, as to their approach on the implementation.
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.
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.
Read our blogs to find out what we are doing in each of the four UK countries to fight for fairer pay for dentists.