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Scotland's Oral Health Improvement Plan: dentists' views

Blog Author Phil Grigor

Blog Date 19/06/2018



Thank you to all those who responded to our survey on the Scottish Government's Oral Health Improvement Plan (OHIP)

We issued a news release on the headline results from the survey earlier this month, and you may have seen the associated press coverage, including comments from Margie Taylor, the Chief Dental Officer for Scotland.


What you said

The full version of the survey report can be found here.

Your comments were important in showing the level of feeling about the proposals in the plan, and we have included a selection of your comments (anonymously) in our report. 

Your overall initial response to the plan was largely negative, with over 60% of respondents having a "negative" or "very negative" impression of the plan, and around 65% having a "negative" or "very negative" outlook for the future. 

You also raised concerns about specific aspects of the plan including:


  • Over three quarters of you had concerns about how you will be remunerated, and a similar percentage had concerns about financial viability / how the plan will be funded.
  • Almost two thirds of you had concerns about the timescales for the various initiatives – though the plan is light on detail regarding milestones
  • Almost 70% of you viewed the proposals to reduce the frequency of dental checks negatively, and over 80% of you had concerns about the proposed reduction in scale and polish treatments.

However, there was fairly strong support for a simplified Statement of Dental Remuneration (over 50% in favour, less than 15% against). But for many issues, the detail is clearly lacking, and this is of great concern.


What happens next?

We will continue to have regular discussions with the Scottish Government and Chief Dental Officer to ensure you have a voice in determining how the future of dentistry will look in Scotland. 


The Scottish Dental Practice Committee (SDPC) Executive Sub-Committee met with the CDO and Scottish Government on 6 June to discuss plans for a regular dialogue around aspects of the plan that specifically affect the General Dental Service, including alignment with the Scottish Government's implementation steering group.


The other branches of the dental profession – Public Dental Service and Hospital Dental Service – will also have meetings with the CDO and Scottish Government (or be represented via Scottish Council) to ensure their views are represented.


Our Scottish Committees have identified the following "top five" issues in the plan that the we will prioritise in discussions with the Scottish Government:


  1. Changes in funding to GDPs
  2. Domiciliary care in care homes and people in their own homes
  3. The new Director of Dentistry role
  4. Oral health risk assessment (OHRA) / periodontal care / general health checks
  5. Simplifying Items of Service.


We will continue to engage with our members on these issues and keep you informed of developments. If you have any comments, do get in touch.

Phil Grigor, National Director

BDA Scotland 


BDA Scotland

BDA Scotland supports, represents and promotes, the interests of all dentists working in Scotland. Working with elected committee members, we negotiate on behalf of the profession on terms and conditions, and pay and contracts: Join us.