Andrea Leadsom introduces £20,000 ‘golden hello’ scheme

Andrea Leadsom on 'golden hello' scheme

Today (10 May) NHS England launched its ‘golden hello’ recruitment scheme – hear from MP Andrea Leadsom on the £20,000 bonus for dentists in under-served areas.

Around 240 dentists will be offered a £20,000 ‘golden hello’, NHS England has confirmed. NHS guidance was issued to practices today to encourage them to advertise the dentist recruitment scheme. The scheme was first announced as part of the dental recovery plan published by the government in February. The ‘golden hello’ scheme is one of several measures aiming to improve NHS dental access in the UK.

Dentistry heard from parliamentary under-secretary of state for public health Andrea Leadsom on the ‘golden hello’ scheme and the impact of the dental recovery plan so far.

Andrea Leadsom

Three months have passed since we published the dental recovery plan – and we’re already starting to see the impacts. According to NHS England, over 5,000 dental contracts have treated new patients since the start of March. And almost 500 additional dental practices have said they are accepting new adult patients on the NHS Find a Dentist website.

This is great progress, and today we are announcing the next step in building our dental workforce and improving access across the country. We’re rolling out our targeted recruitment scheme – known as ‘golden hellos’ – to support recruitment of dentists into under-served areas of England. The scheme will see welcome bonuses of £20,000 offered for up to 240 dentists working in these areas for a minimum of three years. The bonuses will be paid over three years and beneficiaries will be expected to deliver a minimum level of NHS activity – ensuring value for taxpayer’s money.

‘Faster, simpler and fairer’

NHS England has issued guidance to contractors and dentists who are interested in securing these ‘golden hellos’ to support their recruitment efforts. And practices in under-served areas will be able to put in an expression of interest to their local health board to be considered for a golden hello. Once approved, they’ll be able to include this financial incentive in their job adverts for dentists coming to work in their practices.

This isn’t the only step we’re taking to make access to dentistry faster, simpler and fairer across the country. NHS England is working at pace to help integrated care boards develop plans for procuring dental vans. These vans will bring care to patients in need in remote and isolated parts of the country – including so-called dental deserts such as the south west and east of England. We expect the first vans to be operational in the autumn.

I want to thank our hard-working dentists for responding so effectively to our plan. With your help, we will ensure that patients across the country can get faster, simpler and fairer access to good oral health.

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