A very unhappy profession

SALDC survey finds that nearly 90 per cent of dentists in Scotland are ‘adversely stressed’

19 November, 2015 / infocus

An independent survey of Scottish GDPs has confirmed fears that stress among the profession is at dangerously high levels.

The research by the newly-reformed Scottish Association of Local Dental Committees (SALDC) comes on the back of reports of poor morale among Scottish dentists by the HSCIC Dental Working Hours publication.

The survey, one of the first orders of business after the SALDC was re-established earlier this year, found that 88.3 per cent of dentists who responded were “adversely stressed” by their profession. On top of this, 84 per cent said they felt more stressed than they were last year and 87 per cent said they were more stressed than they were five years ago.

SALDC chair Arabella Yelland said: “We decided to conduct a survey, firstly to determine whether GDPs in Scotland are adversely stressed by working within the profession and, if adversely stressed, had the level of stress increased in the last five years. The format of the questionnaire was four closed questions, one open question and finally an opportunity to provide comments.”

Arabella explained that the sample fairly represented both practice owners (58 per cent) and associates (42 per cent). It showed that the vast majority of dentists feel adversely stressed, and are progressively becoming more stressed.

She also pointed to a recent independent review commissioned by the executive of Ayrshire and Arran health board, which described “a culture of fear” among dentists with regards to performance and patient safety issues.

She said: “Dentists are working in fear of one minor mistake sending them to the GDC. Financial pressures are mounting, and we are seeing a very unhappy profession. This is not good for patients.”

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