‘Step away from the treadmill’
Prevention of disease incentivised, says Shadow Health Secretary
Scotland’s shadow health spokesperson has called for a “holistic” NHS dental service. Sandesh Gulhane, the Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care, said that prevention of disease should “not only be at the heart of the service but also incentivised”.
Speaking at the Conference of Scottish Local Dental Committees’ annual conference in April1, he said that this would allow dentists “to step away from the treadmill associated with item of service”.
At the conference, motions on the crisis facing NHS dentistry in Scotland took centre stage, with the revised Determination 1 of the Statement of Dental Remuneration (SDR), increasing costs, and calls for reform of several allowances within the SDR, all being debated.
The urgent need for payment reform and sustainable funding for NHS dentistry in Scotland underpinned the debates on many of the 21 motions. Recruitment and retention of dentists along with dental team members was an area of concern. Recruitment and retention of dental nurse and auxiliary staff, workforce planning, and training, also featured.
Delegates passed motions calling for the delivery of NHS dentistry to be reformed, following the pandemic, in a way that delivers for patients and the profession. Given the real terms cuts over the past decade, there was significant debate about the sustainability of NHS dentistry and the current remuneration package.