The British Dental Association (BDA) has welcomed conformation from both the Treasury and NHS England that mixed practices can make full use of the furlough scheme in proportion to their private activity.
Access to the scheme had not appeared an option for employers receiving public funding from the NHS. The BDA has been pressing NHS England to offer assurances that mixed NHS/private practices could access wider government support to cover private work, as well as support from the NHS.
Dental practice employees include nurses and non-clinical administrative staff, but not dentists and many hygienists and therapists, who operate on a self-employed basis. Many of those self-employed professionals will currently miss out on any government support due to the upper earnings limit set by the Chancellor.
British Dental Association Chair Mick Armstrong said:
“Without the ability to furlough staff thousands of dental practices would have faced an uphill struggle to survive this pandemic.
“This flexibility will offer a lifeline to many practices facing a deeply uncertain future.”