Plea for action in the North
Leading figures in the BDA have called for urgent action over contract reform, saying there was massive concern over the future of Health Service dentistry.
Leading figures in the BDA have called for urgent action over contract reform.
Northern Ireland Director Tristen Kelso and Ciara Gallagher, Chair of the Northern Ireland Dental Practice Committee, said there was massive concern over the future of Health Service dentistry.
Writing on the BDA website, Mr Kelso pointed to the rising costs of dentistry due to inflation on materials, lab fees and retention of staff, and he also claimed the situation was being made worse by delays in the implementation of the DDRB uplift.
He added it was getting harder to guarantee equality in the workplace when working under a contract that was designed for a different workforce to the one we now have.
The article revealed the BDA had written to Chief Dental Officer (CDO) Caroline Lappin, confirming its commitment to engage in new contract discussions and that representatives had attended a contract reform meeting in May.
Mr Kelso wrote: “The department must address the underlying reasons behind the collapse in morale and crisis of confidence to begin to transform GDS into an attractive and aspirational option.”
In a separate article, Ms Gallagher said it was vital to have a vision for what the new contract would look like and that it would have to be “endorsed by the original principles of the NHS – from cradle to grave”.
She added: ìThe stakes are high but I think it’s all to play for, as the state of Health Service dentistry in Northern Ireland can’t get any worse.
“The last time contract negotiations were initiated was six years ago – in 2016 – and that went nowhere. This cannot be allowed to happen again, the future of health service dentistry depends on it. This is therefore a pivotal moment. It represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get the new contract for Health Service dentistry right – not just for us, but for future generations.”