Throughout the pandemic, when practices were in receipt of emergency Covid Support Payments, personal commitments payments, the General Dental Practice Allowance (GDPA) and rent reimbursement payments were all protected, with payments being allocated based on the position at the time of 31 March 2020. The Scottish Government will remove this protection from 1 July 2022 and the following changes have been made to reflect how allowances will be allocated:
Personal Commitment Payments
- The 'relevant earnings period' has been reduced from 12 months to 3 months to reflect practitioners' most current earnings. Multiplier payments will be included in the calculation of gross earnings.
- The definitions 'fully' and 'partially committed practices' have been removed for the purpose of calculating payments. Instead, practices will receive 12% of gross earnings up to a maximum of £22,000 per quarter.
- A new condition of eligibility has been added, stating that practices must not have less than 80% of accumulated number of patient registrations as of 1 July 2022.
- Practices in receipt of payments as of 31 March 2020 will continue to receive payments if they continue to meet the relevant eligibility criteria.
- Where a practice moves premises, it will have to meet the same requirements as new entrants.
- To allow new entrants into the scheme, the definitions 'fully' and 'partially committed practices' have been removed. New entrants will have to show a minimum of 60% NHS activity.
- The text for this allowance has been simplified but there have been no changes made to the scheme.
- A change was made from 1 April 2022 to reflect that the availability of appropriate toothbrushes for children over the age of 6 has impacted the ability of dental teams to supervise toothbrushing for these patients.
The Scottish Dental Practice Committee (SDPC) were asked to provide feedback on a draft version of the document. In response to several questions and queries that the committee raised, we are pleased that the Scottish Government have made some constructive amendments and simplified the language on several of the changes to help provide clarity for the profession. We will continue to be a strong voice for dentists in these discussions.