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Getting a fairer deal for dentists in Scotland: making the case for pay uplifts

Blog Author David McColl

Blog Date 03/04/2019

BDA DDRB delegation

The BDA delegation to DDRB, pictured from left to right: Eddie Crouch, Vice-Chair BDA Principal Executive Committee, David McColl, Chair Scottish Dental Practice Committee, Henrik Overgaard Nielsen, Chair, General Dental Practice Committee, Charlotte Waite, Chair, England Community Dental Services Committee, Richard Graham, Chair Northern Ireland Dental Practice Committee and Tom Bysouth, Chair, Welsh Dental Practice Committee


Earlier this week I travelled to London to represent dentists in Scotland at the BDA’s discussions with the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB).


The DDRB is an independent organisation that makes annual recommendations to all four UK administrations on the pay increases of doctors and dentists providing NHS care. 

Each year, the BDA provides written and oral evidence to the DDRB to make the case for dentistry and the need for ongoing and sustained investment. 

The BDA's written submission this year used "sustainability" as its central theme, and we highlighted a number of pressing issues facing the profession in Scotland. 

Our key points included:


During the oral evidence session, I highlighted several areas in which Scotland differed from the rest of the UK that they should consider when recommending any uplift. These included higher rates of income tax in Scotland. 


Given the long-term decline in pay, we've asked DDRB to recommend an uplift of 2% above inflation, to help address the real-terms decrease in income. We also asked them to address problems with the pension arrangements, including the lack of variability of contributions within the scheme.

For independent General Dental Practitioners in Scotland, DDRB only recommends on pay – it does not make any recommendations for expenses.

BDA Scotland and the Scottish Government have developed a template for collecting expenses information from selected dental practices. The Scottish Government will consider this information when awarding the expenses uplift later this year, therefore it is important that dental practices complete and return the template.

There has been growing disquiet among both doctors and dentists about how independent the DDRB is, and the BDA has expressed concerns about how the Review Body operates. However, as your representative body, we shall continue to play a full and hopefully, constructive, part in the process.

DDRB will issue its recommendations to the Scottish Government over the summer and will keep you informed of developments.

We will keep fighting on your behalf to secure the best possible deal for dentists in Scotland.

David McColl, Chair

Scottish Dental Practice Committee



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.