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​‘Wrong approach, wrong conclusions’ – BDA response to DDRB

The British Dental Association (BDA) has criticised both the approach and conclusions of the Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration (DDRB) in its recommendations for pay awards for General Dental Practitioners in England for 2015/16.

The DDRB has opted to leave the question of dental expenses for GDPs to negotiation. Rather than negotiating, however, the Department of Health, has simply applied a Retail Price Index (RPIx) uplift to the review board’s formula, producing a 1.34 per cent uplift for GDPs in England.

The BDA has said that today’s report has yet again failed to grasp the 25 per cent decline in real incomes since 2006, and has called for action on establishing a new basis for calculating dental expenses. 

John Milne, Chair of the BDA’s General Dental Practice Committee (GDPC), said:
“We aren’t surprised by the DDRB’s conclusions, but we are unhappy about their approach.

“The DDRB has backed a low uplift and placed dental expenses on the too difficult list. So now we have the unedifying sight of the government stepping in to provide a quick fix as a substitute for meaningful negotiation. 

“What we need is a fit and proper mechanism for establishing an uplift for expenses, not last minute improvisation. The disproportionate rise in expenses facing practitioners cannot continue to go unrecognised. It needs proper consideration.

“The current approach does nothing to arrest or even recognise the long term fall in practitioner incomes, and simply adds ambiguity to an already unsustainable position on pay. Dentists are realists. We are living in an era of pay restraint, but restraint should not mean pay cuts.”

- The DDRB has not made a recommendation for employed dentists in England for 2015/16 following the Department of Health’s decision last year to implement a two-year pay award. Dentists at the top of their pay scale will receive a non-recurrent uplift, those in receipt of an incremental point will not receive an uplift.

- Between April 2006 and March 2013 mean average taxable income for GDPs in England and Wales fell by 24.5 per cent.

About the BDA

The British Dental Association (BDA) is the professional association and trade union for dentists in the UK. It represents dentists working in general practice, in community and hospital settings, in academia and research, and in the armed forces, and includes dental students. The BDA promotes members’ interests, advances the science, arts and ethics of dentistry, and contributes towards improving the nation's oral health.

For further information, please contact the BDA's media team on 0207 563 4145/46 or visit the BDA's news centre. You can also follow news from the BDA on Twitter. Membership packages reflect the varied needs of dentists.