BDA Scotland representatives are in ongoing dialogue with Scotland Government officials regarding financial mitigation measures to ensure NHS dental practices remain viable. We met with Joe FizPatrick, Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing, and Tom Ferris, Chief Dental Officer, on 4 March to discuss the potential financial impact on dental practices of staff “self isolating” and patients not attending appointments.
Since that meeting, the situation has reached a new level of urgency, with dentists reporting falling attendances by patients and dental practices in Scotland closing due to COVID-19 infection.
Practitioner Services has been instructed to put in place a range of financial measures with immediate effect for all independent GDS practices including:
- Determine the average monthly item of service income (net of patient charges for fee paying patients) for the period 2019/20;
- Calculate 90% of this income; and
- Where the amount of the above rate is greater than the dentist’s net item of service earnings for a month they shall pay the difference between these earnings and the 90% as a top-up in the next available schedule.
Practices will require to continue to submit the weekly NHS activity record sheet throughout the financial support period - this will allow the NHS Board to determine when this support should stop.
While these financial support measures provide a degree of reassurance, there are a number of issues requiring urgent clarification. We have contacted the Scottish Government for further information, and will keep members updated on developments