Reform of NHS dentistry pay paused while SNP elects new leader

24 March, 2023 / infocus
 Will Peakin  

A ‘payment reform showcase’ planned by the Scottish Government for next month, which would have provided detail of the new Statement of Dental Remuneration (SDR), has been put on a ‘temporary pause’.

In a letter to NHS dentists earlier this week, Maree Todd, the Public Health Minister, said that the timeline indicated earlier this year by the Government “has been necessarily delayed by the process underway to replace the First Minister.”

In February, Humza Yousef, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care, and one of the contenders for the position of First Minister, set out a road-map for the reform of the system of payment for NHS dentistry.

It included an intention to showcase the revised SDR, including fees, over the course of April.

In her letter, Ms Todd said: “Decisions informing any financial negotiation with BDA about the final fees and the patient charge are required to be taken after the First Minister transition process has been completed and we will confirm the negotiation period and new showcase date as soon as possible.”

The minister added: “I can confirm that the ‘bridging’ payments remain in place until 31 October 2023 to ensure implementation of the reformed SDR at that point and officials stand ready to support dialogue and negotiations with the sector.”

The ballot to elect a new SNP leader closes at noon on 27 March.

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