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Pay uplift for GDPs takes effect but 15-month delay unacceptable, says BDA Northern Ireland

27 June 2019

BDA Northern Ireland has responded to the Northern Ireland Department of Health formally publishing the 2018-19 Statement of Dental Remuneration (SDR) on 24 June, saying the 15-month delay is unacceptable and continues to be a major concern for the profession.

SDR fees and allowances have been revised upwards by 2.73% - reflecting the 2% increase to net pay recommended by the pay review body (DDRB). 

The effective date for implementation of the SDR will be backdated to 01 April 2018. The uplift on claims from 01 April 2018 until the implementation of the new rates on 11 July 2019 will be calculated and paid in the July 2019 payment. Further details can be found in official Department for Health guidance

We've produced a quick-reference guide to the Health Service fees exclusively for BDA members (login required).

Chair of the BDA Northern Ireland Dental Practice Committee, Richard Graham, said:

"This 2.73% uplift to fees and allowances represents the largest uplift GDPs have seen for some time – which is to be welcomed. However, this is in a context of successive years of wholly inadequate uplifts at a time when the cost of providing Health Service dentistry has increased significantly. In addition, the 15-month delay in getting to this point, whereby our pay uplift for 18/19 is implemented in the 19/20 financial year, is a major cause for concern. 

"The obvious lack of priority accorded to dental services by the Department for Health is both alarming and demoralising. Whatever officials might think, oral health matters, and it is well past time the Department takes proper note of the growing cumulative burden – financial and regulatory – being placed on dentists and address it." 

BDA Northern Ireland will be raising the issue of the unsustainable nature of Health Service fees, and the wider dental remuneration package with the Permanent Secretary for the Department for Health at an upcoming meeting. 

We will also be highlighting the important contribution of dentistry and the work of dental professionals to the wider public health agenda at a landmark Stormont Oral Health Matters event scheduled for this autumn.  

BDA Northern Ireland

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