New community contract agreed in Northern Ireland

Breakthrough after seven years of negotiations

The British Dental Association in Northern Ireland has heralded agreement for a new community dental contract as a major breakthrough for the service.

The new contract, which comes after nearly seven years of negotiations with the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPSNI), will see pay backdated to April 2015.

Grainne Quinn, Chair of the BDA’s Northern Ireland Salaried Dentists Committee, said: “This deal represents a real victory for community dentists in Northern Ireland.

“Our negotiating team succeeded in securing a proposed settlement which, if accepted by members, will be backdated to April 2015. This goes some way towards acknowledging the significant delays with the process to date. The introduction of a £750 allowance recognises the importance of ongoing training and development for community dentists and would bring us into line with our colleagues in England and Wales.

“I believe this proposal represents a good outcome for community dentists in Northern Ireland and, on behalf of the Salaried Dental Committee, I would recommend acceptance of this offer.”

The new modernised terms and conditions will deliver an average uplift of 4.4 per cent and introduce a dedicated educational fund of £750 per dentist to be used on CPD, in line with the contracts in England and Wales. This marks the first time such funding will be available to community dentists in Northern Ireland.