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​BDA Scotland to DDRB: it's time to invest in dentistry

2 March 2017

BDA Scotland have told the Review Body for Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration (DDRB) it's time to invest in NHS dentistry, support practices and reduce the pressure on practitioners implicit in the underfunded item of fees system.

The call came as part of February's oral evidence session in Edinburgh, led by Robert Donald, Chair of the Scottish Dental Practice Committee; David McColl Vice Chair; Eddie Crouch, Chair of the BDA's Review Body Evidence Committee and Deputy Chair of the PEC; and Pat Kilpatrick, National Director BDA Scotland.

The delegation expressed grave concerns about the impact underfunding of NHS services is having on patients, including the shortfall in provision of dental services for the elderly, access to domiciliary care, cuts in the funding of the Public Dental Services, and loss of posts in Scotland – where the number of posts has fallen from 482 in 2012 to 449 in 2014/15.

BDA Scotland also tackled the impact low motivation and morale are now having on the workforce. Official studies have shown 33% of Practice Owners wanted to retire in the next five years, and the numbers of dentists seeking voluntary early retirement in Scotland is also increasing year on year. Much of the impact on morale and motivation was attributed to the ongoing decline of dentists' incomes and the financial and other pressures this is placing on practice owners and associates providing NHS dentistry.

The evidence touched on the recent Scottish Government commissioned study on earnings and expenses at practice level. BDA Scotland has expressed support for the study but expressed concerns on whether such a small sample – covering just 21 out of Scotland's 947 practices – could provide representative and reliable data.  

About BDA Scotland 

The BDA in Scotland represents all dentists and dental students in Scotland. Members working in all branches of dentistry in Scotland receive dedicated support, advice and guidance from the BDA Scotland office. Working closely with colleagues in BDA offices throughout the UK and with elected members, BDA Scotland seeks to improve conditions for the delivery of dental services across the country, negotiating directly with the Scottish Government. BDA Scotland also seeks to influence other key-decision makers, including educational institutions, political parties, and statutory and non-statutory bodies.