Government to take millions from NHS dentistry, says BDA

Government set to take 100s of millions from NHS dentistry, says BDA

The British Dental Association warns that hundreds of millions are set to be taken away from NHS dentistry during an ‘unprecedented’ access crisis.

They have suggested it is on track to amount to over a tenth of the service’s £3 billion budget.

The Health Service Journal report have major concerns that the service is set for record ‘underspends’ in 2022/23.

The BDA stress this ‘clawback’ does not reflect a lack of demand for dentistry. Instead, it is the recruitment crisis that is leaving practices unable to meet their contractual commitments.

No sustained recovery

Practices face financial sanctions for failure to hit targets set in their contracts.

Freedom of information data acquired by the BDA shows no sustained recovery in NHS dentistry delivered in the first nine months of the 2022/23 financial year.

As a result, the BDA estimates this will translate into losses of more than 10% of dentistry’s gross budget – potentially as high as £400m.

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‘Failed contract’

BDA chair Eddie Crouch said: ‘Patients will struggle to comprehend why this government is about to take hundreds of millions from the frontline during an access crisis.

‘This cash will end up plugging holes in other NHS budget lines. It’s not because there’s any lack of demand for dentistry, it’s simply that practices are working to a failed contract and can’t fill vacancies.

‘Any progress requires reform and investment, but instead dentists are getting kicked while they’re down.

‘This will push dedicated NHS practices to the wall or to the private sector and leave whole communities with no options.’

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