The Dentist Magazine.

Below inflation pay deal for dentists in Wales “a cut in all but name”

Published: 10/5/2018 12:00:00 AM

The British Dental Association Wales has criticised the below-inflation pay rise for dentists, saying austerity pay and the Welsh Government’s refusal to let go of a system of rigid targets is leaving the very future of the service in doubt.

NHS dentists in Wales are paid via the widely discredited NHS contract. The system, which has operated in Wales since 2006, funds care for little over half the population, and is based on delivering on activity measures rather than effective prevention or improving health outcomes. The Welsh Government is currently testing a watered-down version of this system, in lieu of wholesale reform.

Earnings for dentists in Wales are currently 30 per cent less than their opposite numbers in England. Recent data has shown practitioners in England and Wales have experienced real terms falls in income of up to 35 per cent over the last decade.

Tom Bysouth, chair of the BDA’s Welsh General Dental Practice Committee, said, “The Welsh Government’s below-inflation pay deal is another pay cut in all but name.

“Morale in the dental profession is at an all-time low, thanks to a failed contract and real terms pay squeeze without parallel in the UK public sector.

“It’s bad news for patients that ministers remain so wedded to a system that actively penalises prevention, and a pay policy that undermines the very sustainability of NHS services.”