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2% pay rise for dentists in Wales condemned by BDA

BDJ volume 225, page 694 (26 October 2018) | Download Citation

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Dentists in Wales will receive a 2% pay rise backdated to 1 April 2018 but the increase has been described as 'a cut in all but name' by the BDA.

Welsh Health Secretary Vaughan Gething announced a new pay deal for doctors and dentists in Wales on 25 September 2018, which included a higher salary increase than the deal agreed in England but only for doctors.

Gething confirmed the Welsh Government had agreed in full the recommendations of the Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration (DDRB) for:

  • A 2% base increase for salaried dentists and doctors, salaried general medical practitioners (GMPs) and independent contractor GMPs and general dental practitioners (GDPs)

  • An additional 2% for independent contractor GMPs, salaried GMPs and to the GMP trainers' grant and the GMP appraisers' rate.

Gething said: 'This pay rise, which will be backdated to 1 April 2018, recognises the value and dedication of hardworking doctors and dentists and their key contribution to the NHS in Wales. This deal goes beyond what was agreed for doctors and dentists over the border and is yet another reason why Wales is a great place to train, work and live.

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'Following years of austerity, imposed by the UK Government, we have committed additional funding to fulfil the DDRB recommendations. The reality remains, however, that our budgets are limited and so meeting a pay deal resulting from the lifting of the UK Government's pay cap without appropriate funding to follow presents a risk to the future funding of NHS Wales.'

The BDA was unimpressed, saying that 'austerity pay' and the Welsh Government's refusal to let go of a system of rigid targets was leaving the future of the service in doubt.

Earnings for dentists in Wales were currently 30% less than their opposite numbers in England, said the union.

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.'

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https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.bdj.2018.948

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