The Dentist Magazine.

2.73 per cent uplift for Northern Ireland GDPs approved

Published: 5/7/2019 12:00:00 AM

BDA Northern Ireland has written formally to accept the Department of Health’s pay uplift offer for 2018/19.

The uplift for contractor general dental practitioners for 2018/19 will see the DDRB recommendation of two per cent net of expenses being applied, equating to an actual uplift of 2.73 per cent backdated to April 1, 2018. According to Department of Health, this represents a total investment of £2.9 million in regional dental services.

Chair of the BDA Northern Ireland Dental Practice Committee, Richard Graham, commented, “We acknowledge that this year’s 2.73 per cent uplift to fees and allowances represents the largest uplift GDPs have seen for some time. However, this in a context of successive years of wholly inadequate uplifts of one per cent pay caps, no uplifts, active cuts, and at a time when the cost of providing Health Service dentistry has increased significantly. 

“The delay in getting to this point, whereby our pay uplift for 18/19 has occurred in the next financial year, is also a major cause for concern to us, and something we have highlighted to the Department. Excessive delay is detrimental to practice cashflows, and undermines the ability to engage in sound financial planning.

“A workstream has been set up to analyse the fall in health service income in response to a request by BDA. We intend to continue to engage proactively with DoH and HSCB to highlight the fall in health service income and increase in expenses, and the need to secure significant additional investment to put Health Service dentistry and its practitioners on a sustainable footing. Our asks contained in the BDA Sustainability paper, not least restoration of Commitment Payments remain valid.”

BDA NI are still waiting on formal communication that the two per cent pay uplift will also apply to salaried dentists, including CDS and hospital staff, and have written separately to Andrew Dawson, acting director of workforce at the Department of Health, for confirmation.