NHS report: dentists’ morale continues downward trend

Figures show majority of principals often think of leaving general dentist practice

03 October, 2018 / infocus
 Scottish Dental  

More than two thirds of principal dentists and over half of associate dentists in Scotland “often think about leaving general dental practice”, according to figures released by NHS Digital.

Dental Working Hours 2016/17 and 2017/18 is a report on the working patterns, motivation and morale of self-employed, primary care dentists across the UK, drawn from the biennial Dental Working Patterns Survey.

The figures for Scotland show 69.3 per cent of principal dentists said they often considered leaving general dental practice in 2017/18 compared to 57.1 per cent in 2015/16, with 57.1 per cent of associates saying they often thought about leaving general dental practice in 2017/18 compared to 45.9 per cent in 2015/16.

In scotland more than 61 per cent of principals said morale was “very low” or “low"

The sense of despondency is not limited to Scotland. Corresponding figures in England and Wales revealed 62.7 per cent of principal dentists often thought about leaving general dental practice in 2017/18 compared to 57.2 per cent in 2015/16, while 56.1 per cent of associate dentists said they often contemplated leaving general dental practice in 2017/18 compared to 47.6 per cent in 2015/16.

In Northern Ireland, 64.0 per cent of principal dentists said they often considered leaving general dental practice in 2017/18 compared to 59.2 per cent in 2015/16 while 52.1 per cent of associates said they often considered leaving general dental practice in 2017/18 compared to 51.1 per cent in 2015/16.

Levels of morale among the profession revealed in the report were equally bleak.

In Scotland, more than 61 per cent of principals and over 52 per cent of associates said morale was “very low” or “low”. Conversely, almost 18 per cent of principals and more than 22 per cent of associates said morale was “very high” or “high”.

The most commonly cited reasons for low morale were:

  • increasing expenses and/or declining income
  • risk of litigation and cost of indemnity fees
  • regulations (for principal dentists).

You can see the Dental Working Hours 2016/17 and 2017/18 report at: https://tinyurl.com/ybj79mjk

Tags: Mental Health / morale / news / NHS Report / October 2018 / Stress

Categories: News

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