Dentists warn of hole in plans to support service through pandemic
Published: 3/26/2020 12:00:00 AM
The British Dental Association (BDA) has responded to the long-awaited package of support from NHS England for dental practices at risk of collapse in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many practices will still face an uncertain future, with most which provide a mix both NHS and private care being asked to choose between support from the NHS and the Treasury. NHS England have said that practices benefiting from continued NHS funding will not be eligible to seek any wider government assistance to small businesses. Dentists are still waiting on details of the chancellor’s promised package of support for the self-employed.
Following BDA requests, the plan stipulates practices will be required to ensure that all staff, including self-employed associate dentists, nonclinical and others, continue to be paid at previous levels.
BDA chair Mick Armstrong said, “We are now seeing some of the support this profession has desperately required. There’s an outline to ensure that practices and their staff are kept afloat, however the devil is in the detail.
“The overwhelming majority of dentists provide both NHS and private care. By asking practices to choose between NHS and other government support, it is inevitable many will fall through the gap.
"We urgently need government to offer flexibility over this issue.”