Up t0 100,000 of Northern Ireland's most vulnerable patients could be left without care, the BDA has warnedUp to 100,000 of Northern Ireland’s most vulnerable patients could be left without care, the BDA has warned.

The association says 80 out of the 350 practices scattered across the country are financially vulnerable.

This is according to a report by News Letter.

Richard Graham is chair of the BDA’s Northern Ireland dental practice committee. He fears tens of thousands will lose access to dentistry if the practices close down.

Additionally, the key reason for the practices’ vulnerability is suggested to be the lack of support for their private work.

Extra funding

This comes as it has been confirmed that the Financial Support Scheme will continue for dental teams until the end of the year. 

Last week, Michael O’Neill – the acting director of general healthcare policy for Northern Ireland – announced that the scheme would apply for the November to December payment cycle.

He said: ‘As previously advised, additional funding is in place for the rest of the financial year. This will support General Dental Services; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to adversely impact PPE costs and patient throughput in practices.

‘To this end, I hope to be in a position soon to write to you with the detail of how the Financial Support Scheme will operate from January to March 2021.’