The government has agreed to review a temporary adjustment to pay for community dentists in Northern Ireland

The government has agreed to review a temporary adjustment to pay for community dental services (CDS) in Northern Ireland. 

Minister for health Robin Swann confirmed officials are looking at the possibility of changing the terms and conditions. This follows pressure from the British Dental Association (BDA),

At the beginning of the month, the BDA proposed payment of an enhanced rate for community dentists who worked beyond their contractual hours to help battle COVID-19.

Commitment recognised

In a letter this week, Mr Swann said: ‘I fully recognise the commitment that has been made by all staff during these unprecedented times, and the amount of work that had to be carried out in a very short space of time.

‘The staff working within the Health Service in Northern Ireland have risen to the challenge. I am very grateful to each and every one of you who have gone above and beyond to deliver care to our patients.’

He confirmed an update on CDS pay will be released as soon as possible.

CDS have been crucial in the delivery of urgent dental care centres. They have also carried out testing duties, redeployment roles and emergency domiciliary care.

Fit testing support

This comes as an £80,000 grant was awarded to support the fit testing of respirator masks.

The Health and Social Care Board secured the money to assist the fit testing of FFP2 and FFP3 masks for dental professionals.

The grant falls under their plan to remobilise and reorganise general dental services (GDS).

Payments will be made following the submission of an application form. This should be joined by paid invoices for any training or testing from 1 April 2020.