Covid-19: Dental Protection urges Welsh Government to look again at support offer

Covid-19: Dental Protection urges Welsh Government to look again at support offer

Dental Protection has called on the Welsh Government to look again at its offer to provide dentists with 80% of their NHS annual contract value (ACV), following concerns that the offer will be insufficient for many. Raj Rattan, Dental Director at Dental Protection said: “The Covid-19 crisis has caused significant worry and concern for dentists in Wales”.

In its submission to the Welsh Assembly Health, Social Care and Sport Committee looking into the Covid-19 pandemic, Dental Protection said the current proposal of 80% - covering April to June in the current financial year - falls short of the needs of most practice owners who must meet their costs and who are seeing a substantial drop in revenue through no fault of their own.

The Covid-19 crisis has placed dentists in Wales and across the UK under considerable financial strain because most have been forced to close their doors to patients as routine and non-urgent care has been suspended.

Dental Protection said the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration Report formulates dental materials and laboratory costs at 13.5% - so it was anticipated that the NHS ACV offer would be 86.5%.  It is concerned that what equates to a 6.5% shortfall in dentists’ renumeration will significantly impact on their business finances given that they are still required to pay staff at previous levels. It has urged the Welsh Government to reconsider and revise the calculations. 

Dental Protection recently announced its own support measures to protect the financial and wellbeing of members during the Covid-19 crisis. This included a subscription payment relief and an extension of its counselling service to all Dental Protection members.

Raj Rattan, Dental Director at Dental Protection said: “The Covid-19 crisis has caused significant worry and concern for dentists in Wales and around the world. They are concerned for the welfare of their patients, the health and wellbeing of their teams and fellow colleagues, whilst trying to manage a multitude of business challenges. It is important that practices receive adequate financial support to maintain near-term viability so that they are able to continue to provide services to their patients beyond the current crisis.

“This is why we have offered subscription relief for members. We have also extended our counselling service to all our dental members which we hope can help them navigate these difficult times. We hope these measures will go some way towards helping members, but we acknowledge that dentists need more support than this from the wider system. This is why we are calling on the Welsh Government to review the offer to dentists in Wales as soon as possible and before the initial 3-month period expires.”

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