SDA invites profession to a summit on the future of NHS dentistry

16 February, 2021 / infocus
 Will Peakin  

A vision for the future of NHS dentistry in Scotland will be discussed at an event next month attended by Tom Ferris, the country’s chief dental officer (CDO).

The CDO will be speaking at the event, organised by the newly-formed Scottish Dental Association (SDA), which a spokesperson said “aims to inform and stimulate discussion around the promised changes to the post-pandemic SDR [Statement of Dental Remuneration].”

The spokesperson added: “The CDO has stated that he wishes to engage widely with the profession. This is a new dynamic and presents a unique opportunity for the majority of the dental profession to have a role in this process, rather than a select few as has previously been the case.

“Critically, we must make our voices heard en masse, whether differing or united in our opinions, to help influence Scottish Government policy. The impact on the oral health of our patients, our working environment and the way that we are remunerated may then be significant.

“Pre-COVID 19, the average Scottish GDP devoted three quarters of their time to NHS treatments. Many of us feel that the current SDR is outdated and denies high quality patient care.

“The pandemic has brought the limitations of the system into sharp focus but many of these are long standing issues. Currently, the NHS has both negative and positive impact on oral health as well as a deleterious effect on the mental health of our teams.”

The summit will also hear from Professor Phil Taylor, Dean of Dental Surgery at RCS Edinburgh, on the various models which may be adopted and their relative merits, and from Cynthia Pine, Professor of Dental Public Health at Queen Mary University London, will present her views on the requirements of modern NHS dentistry in meeting public health needs.

The spokesperson said that the SDA was “borne of the helplessness facing many of us in the initial COVID-19 lockdown period. We, a small group of Associate and Principal dentists, have been working over the past several months to create an association and are now in the final stages of this process.

“We hope soon to invite a formal membership and our constitution is available to view on our website. We will in time establish a formal committee, with an appropriate level of engagement from GDPs.

“Those of us who are working to develop the SDA are doing so with the intention of creating a transparent, democratic and relevant body to represent all dental professionals. We wish to be inclusive and to work with all other representative groups.

The SDA summit will demonstrably offer the benefits of engagement and encourage you to be part of this process.

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