Profession slams 6% pay uplift for dentists

NHS staff in Scotland have been offered a 4% pay rise – but dentists have been excluded

A 6% uplift on dentists’ pay has been accepted by the government amidst conversations over the future of NHS dentistry.

But the British Dental Association has warned the below inflation pay awards will undermine efforts to improve NHS dentistry.

Today the government accepted the recommendation of the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration for a 6% uplift.

According to the BDA, official data shows real incomes for typical dentists have fallen by up to 40%. From 2008/9 to 2020/21 real pay for a typical NHS dentist in England fell by 37%, from £67,800 to £42,847.

There is still no confirmation on increases for practice expenses, it says.

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Financial loss

This comes as the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan sets out ambitions to increase the number of dental students by 40% – amounting to around 1,100 places – by 2031/32.

As part of the plan, it will also increase training places for dental therapists and hygiene professionals to more than 500 in the same time period.

BDA vice chair Peter Crooks said: ‘The government should not expect applause for begrudgingly delivering a below inflation pay award to dentists and doctors.

‘We’re seeing NHS dentists delivering NHS care at a financial loss. All this decision will fuel is the mounting exodus from this service.’

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