Calls are being made for the government to confirm when dentists in Northern Ireland will receive a pay uplift

Calls are being made for the government to confirm when dentists in Northern Ireland will receive a pay uplift.

The British Dental Association (BDA) is urging the Department of Health to clarify the timescales of the pay uplift.

This follows a report in July by the Doctors’ and Dentists’ Review Body (DDRB) report, where it recommended a 2.8% increase.

In its 48th Report, the review body said ‘the delays to the pay award process in Northern Ireland continues to be unacceptable’.

Negative impact

It also argued that delayed uplifts, ‘undermines the credibility of the pay determination process amongst the remit group’. It adds this ‘is likely to have a negative impact on morale’.

Additionally, the organisation is calling for further information on the introduction of a temporary rate for additional hours worked by CDS dentists.

The letter states: ‘The nature of resolving pay issues here is unnecessarily convoluted, detached and ultimately damaging to morale.’

There have been continued calls for further financial support for private and mixed practices as lockdown continues to ease.

The BDA point towards a report carried out by deputy chief dental officer for England, Jason Wong. It assessed the resilience of mixed/private practices following the first wave of COVID-19.

Greater risk

‘While England focused, this report is relevant to Northern Ireland,’ the letter reads.

‘It acknowledges the particular challenges facing mixed/mainly private practices. Practices with a majority of revenue from private dental care are at greater risk having not benefitted relatively from continuing NHS payments since April 2020.

‘This is the essence of the case for additional support measures from the NI Executive. It also asserts that the risk will need to be managed with national level backing for the dental sector. Particularly as broader COVID-19 support measures are withdrawn.’

You can read the full letter here.