BDA Figures Lay Bare The Scale Of The NHS Crisis

BDA Figures Lay Bare The Scale Of The NHS Crisis

‘They want dentistry out of the NHS’ warns Eddie Crouch.

45% of dentists have reduced their commitment to NHS dentistry since the pandemic according to a survey of 2,204 dentists by the British Dental Association.  75% of respondents revealed they were likely to reduce – or further reduce – their NHS commitment over the next twelve months.

The BDA warned the NHS dental service was facing an ‘unprecedented collapse’ and called for ‘radical and urgent’ action from the government.

Over 2000 dentists left the NHS last year.  This comes on top of 951 who quit the year before, leaving the NHS with its smallest workforce for over a decade that has coincided with population growth. There are now just 21,544 NHS dentists according to figures quoted in the MailOnline.

Recruitment difficulties have reached crisis point. Two thirds of the 2,204 respondents declared their practice had unfilled vacancies with 82% claiming it was the perverse contract with its UDA targets that was the main barrier.  Almost a third – 29% - had vacancies that had been unfilled for over a year.

GDPUK has recently reported of several practices that have closed because they have been unable to recruit NHS dentists, leaving thousands of patients without access.  The problem is especially severe in rural and coastal areas.

As patients clamour for access and clinicians struggle to hit their targets, 87% of those surveyed report having suffered from stress, burnout and other mental health problems over the past year. Perhaps most worrying of all, 86% report that they or colleagues in their practices have been subject to verbal or physical abuse. 

Eddie Crouch, BDA Chair told a Guardian newspaper podcast that in his forty years career in the NHS he’d never known anything like it. 

“I’m really worried, I don’t think I’ve ever known the morale of the profession be as low as it is at the moment.  I believe there is enthusiasm within  the politicians that are responsible for dentistry, but their hands are being tied by the Treasury not being prepared to offer any more resource to the problem… I believe they want dentistry ‘out of the NHS’ and they want to blame the dentists for that. They want it look like its greedy dentists that are leaving the NHS rather than having an honest and frank conversation with the population” said Dr Crouch.

If we are to provide a pain relief service only, then let’s have an honest conversation about that but at the moment the politicians want the public to believe that there is a comprehensive dental service out there for them that they are paying for with their taxes and that isn’t true.”

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Dr Jim Rochford
BDA Figures Lay Bare The Scale Of The NHS Crisis
A failed contract designed to meet needs of 55% of the population, too expensive for the working poor, and a less tolerant society has seen patient complaints low level verbal to formal, demolish our workforce moral and they are exiting. NHS Dentistry needs a moratorium on dealing with complaints as a Health and Wellbeing intervention.
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Gravatar
Dr Jim Rochford
A failed contract designed to meet needs of 55% of the population, too expensive for the working poor, and a less tolerant society has seen patient complaints low level verbal to formal, demolish our workforce moral and they are exiting. NHS Dentistry needs a moratorium on dealing with complaints as a Health and Wellbeing intervention.
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