Scottish dentists want their pay award to apply to the overall remuneration package

Scottish dentists want their pay award to apply to the overall remuneration package

SCOTLAND: The British Dental Association (BDA) has recently called on the Scottish Government to confirm that the recently announced 3% pay award for dentists would be applied to practitioners' overall remuneration package to avoid front line staff potentially being left out of pocket and practices struggling to invest in improving care.   

Historically in Scotland, the recommended uplift has not applied to all dentists' allowances and payments, meaning the overall awards often fall short of the pay review body's recommendations.

Last year the Scottish Government did not apply the recommended 2.8% uplift to practice allowances - which make up around 16% of practice income - leaving an overall increase of less than the review body's recommendations. The BDA estimates that the net award for that year was around 2.3%.

While the Scottish Government has offered one-off support to fund improvements in ventilation, National Health Services (NHS) dentists do not routinely receive capital investment. These earnings serve to fund all improvements in equipment, training, and facilities for NHS practices.

Scottish Government officials have stated they will provide details of how the package will operate in due course. The BDA is calling for the 3% uplift to be applied to the full remuneration package.

"The Scottish Government's announcement has left key questions unanswered." David McColl, Chair of the British Dental Association's Scottish Dental Practice Committee, said.

He further said that the uplift would do little to correct a decade of austerity, and not all of this increase might reach dentists, who rely on their earnings to invest in their practices. In the recent election, Ministers put dentistry front and centre in their pitch for Government. If they are going to deliver on their promises, they shouldn't be short-changing front line practitioners.

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