The Dentist Magazine.

“Pay restraint undermines progress on expenses for Scottish GDPs”

Published: 02/08/2017

The British Dental Association Scotland has responded to the Scottish Government’s announcement of pay awards for 2017/18.

The Scottish Government has confirmed the DDRB’s one per cent uplift on pay for GDPs. Following negotiations, they have also announced a 2.25 per cent uplift on item of service fees, up from 1.61 per cent in 2016/17.

Earnings and expense levels for NHS dentists in Scotland have fallen by nearly 30 per cent in real terms since 2009, for both practice owners and associates, while costs or regulatory compliance and registration have gone up by 1,086 per cent in the last decade. Scotland’s dentists are currently the lowest paid in the UK, raising concerns around recruitment, retention and access.

The Scottish Government is still considering when the uplifts will be implemented and the arrangements for backdating the pay award.

Robert Donald, chair of the BDA's Scottish Dental Practice Committee, said, “We are pleased to have secured some concessions on item of service fees, but this will do little to change the direction of travel for general practice in Scotland.

“A decade of under-investment continues to fatally undermine recruitment, retention and investment across the service. The Scottish Government needs to choose between their commitment to pay restraint and the sustainability of an NHS dental system on which our patients depend.”