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English dentists to receive above-inflation pay raise

English dentists will receive a 2.5% pay increase backdated to April according to Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. (Photograph: wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock)

Fri. 26 July 2019


LONDON, UK: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, has confirmed that NHS England dentists will receive a 2.5% pay increase backdated to April. The increase represents the first above-inflation wage uplift for NHS dentists since 2005/6 and meets in full the recommendations of the 47th report of the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB).

The British Dental Association (BDA) welcomed the news but called on the government to deliver a consistent approach to wages. “Pay uplifts on the right side of inflation shouldn’t be exceptional, and represent a bare minimum in terms of government’s duty of care to NHS dentists,” said Dr Eddie Crouch, Deputy Chair of the BDA Principal Executive Committee.

“We have taken evidence from our members on a recruitment and retention crisis to pay review bodies, to the press, and parliamentarians. We have shown how a decade of pay restraint has put the future of this service in doubt. And we will not change tack,” he continued.

“This approach cannot be a one-off, or reserved for special occasions, nor does it undo the damage wrought by ten years of cuts. Colleagues will have heard the death knell for austerity pay policy rung out before. NHS dentistry now requires consistency and investment, so all providers and performers can see the benefit,” Crouch concluded.

BDA Northern Ireland further requested that the government apply pay uplift for dental practitioners in Northern Ireland in a timely manner, since the previous year’s pay increase was confirmed just weeks ago by the Department of Health.

“While a common DDRB process applies to the whole of the UK, dental practitioners in England already know they will receive a 2.5% net uplift for 19/20—while in comparison, practitioners in Northern Ireland have only recently had their uplift for 18/19 officially confirmed,” said Dr Richard Graham, Chair of the Northern Ireland Dental Practice Committee.

“Last year’s delay of in excess of 15 months hit a new low, even for a process that has been fraught with delay previously; at the very least, pay awards should be made in the same year to which they apply,” he added.

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