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Concerns about the return to full NHS dentistry in Scotland

26 October 2020

The British Dental Association Scotland has warned of the increased pressure on dental practices and their financial sustainability following the release of further details on the return to full NHS treatments on 1 November.

The BDA recognises the growing anxiety about an increasingly two-tier dental system in Scotland. However, it does not agree that this is the time to greatly expand the range of dental services, when virus transmission rates are increasing significantly.

The Scottish Government has also issued a revised Statement of Dental Remuneration (SDR) as a temporary measure for the next phase of reopening. The BDA has argued that a return to the pre-COVID SDR is not appropriate at this time, and the BDA look forward to working with the Scottish Government to develop a suitable long-term funding model for NHS dentistry.

While the BDA has welcomed additional support funding announced by the Scottish Government, it remains concerned about the sustainability of many practices who may not be able to meet the prescribed activity levels due to extenuating circumstances, such as staff shielding and illness reducing activity within the dental team.

David McColl, Chair of the British Dental Association's Scottish Dental Practice Committee, said:

"Full services are returning at a time when transmission rates are surging and nearly every practice is feeling the squeeze.


"We are pleased that the Scottish Government addressed a number of our concerns about monitoring activity levels – such as extending the transitional period – but remain concerned about the financial implications and increased pressure on dental teams from 1 November.

"We will work with the Scottish Government on the measurement of activity to ensure that all practitioners and practices are recognised as having their own unique set of circumstances."