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BDA calls for urgent action on financial support for dentistry in Northern Ireland

15 July 2020


BDA Northern Ireland is calling for urgent action to ensure dedicated financial support for

mixed/private-orientated and NHS practices is achieved across Northern Ireland.


In a letter written yesterday, we urged the Rt. Hon Arlene Foster MLA, First Minister and Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill, to address the issue to which individual Ministers have to date failed to provide an adequate response. We highlighted the severe financial situation facing many practices who have been unable to access wider government support measures.


The lack of any meaningful support for mixed/private dentistry,whose business model renders the FSS package entirely inadequate, is alarming and wholly unacceptable. We are also pressing for additional funds to be committed to the GDS budget, and no abatement to be applied, to reflect the sky rocketing of costs.


We have argued the plight of private dentistry and the case for support directly to Health Minister Robin Swann, and to Economy Minister Diane Dodds on three separate occasions: 24 March, 16 April and 8 June. We also presented our case to the Economy Committee, in our evidence to the Health Committee, and on repeated occasions with officials.


The responses we’ve had are shared below:



We now need to take further action and we need your help to put pressure on the NI Executive.


A call to action: share your concerns with your MLAs

We are urging all our members to share your story of how COVID-19 has affected your practice.


Please write to your MLAs and urge them to contact the First and deputy First Minister on your behalf.


To do this, all you need to do is enter your postcode below. The names of your MLAs will be provided. You can then select to send them an email.


Contact Your Politician
Enter your Postcode below:

Your email should include:


  • The financial impact that COVID-19 has had on your individual earnings/practice income to date
  • Details of Government support schemes you have been able/unable to access
  • Additional costs being faced as a result of COVID-19: PPE, the impact of fallow time, reduced patient throughput
  • Your future financial prospects/prospects of your practice's survival/any job losses without receiving additional support from the Executive
  • That you want your situation and this message to be relayed to the First and deputy Ministers.

Please get in touch and let us know when you have heard back from your MLAs. You can contact us at:


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

"It is not in the public interest to see mixed/private oriented practices fail. Nor are we prepared to stand for this disjointed approach, and the longer COVID-19 limits the ability of practices to generate revenue at pre-COVID-19 levels, the increasingly desperate the financial situation facing practices with a higher reliance on private earnings is becoming.


"We need a dedicated support package to be put in place for private dentistry, and additional funding is needed for the GDS that recognises the additional costs of providing services post COVID-19. We look forward to the Executive's response to our call for urgent support."