A cocktail of poor morale and motivation

BDA’s evidence to the DDRB paints a worrying picture for dentists in NI

The dental profession in Northern Ireland is caught up in “cocktail of poor morale and motivation” according to the British Dental Association (BDA).

In its evidence to the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB) for 2016/17, the association also states that general dental services in the region are subject to a funding system that is slower to deliver, or does not apply uplifts as in the rest of the UK.

It continued: “The dental practitioners providing health service care are caught in a pressurised funding system which gives little recognition to the costs of providing the service as evidenced by the decision of DHSSPS to deny an uplift to dental services for 2015/16.”

The evidence document also stated that the “anxiety felt by dentists” in advance of the suggestion from the DHSSPS to pay no uplift for pay or expenses was “palpable”.

It said: “Distress arises through additional costs not met through the payment system, the need to undertake non clinical work which cannot be delegated and is not remunerated, the existing system and its unrelenting regulation as well as pay pressures with falling take home pay and the prospect of further falls and a new contract which is not imminent.”

Eddie Crouch, chair of the BDA’s Review Body Evidence Committee, said: “Governments across the UK appear to have settled on a winning formula for demoralising an entire profession.

“If we continue on this course, without realistic pay uplifts, we are heading for a retention crisis.”