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Changes to NHS Recruitment and Retention Allowances

To help tackle the challenge of recruiting and retaining dentists in some NHS Boards, the Scottish Government has reviewed the areas that are eligible for the Recruitment and Retention Allowance and have made changes so that the allowance better reflects current circumstances.

The main changes are:

  • Changes to the terminology of Designated and Non-Designated to Classification 1 and 2
  • Expanding the list of qualifying areas
  • Allowing Vocational Trainees to claim a reduced level of the allowance during their training year
  • Removing the differential between payments to newly qualified and those returning after five years.

We have broadly welcomed the changes, but raised several queries about the inclusion of further geographical areas in classification areas and suggested reintroducing "Golden Hellos" to encourage dental graduates to remain in Scotland. We also noted that the recruitment crisis is now widespread and stressed that more needs to be done to address the issue for all members of the dental team.

The Scottish Government advised that the geographical areas are determined through a Board-run process and that they will be reviewed on a regular basis with our suggestions for changes being passed onto the relevant Boards for consideration. Regarding "Golden Hellos", this is something we will pursue with the Scottish Government during discussions about full contractual reform for NHS dentistry.