Community announces a new union for dental nurses

08 March, 2024 / infocus
 Will Peakin  

In the midst of a crisis within the UK’s dental sector, Community has announced that it will be creating a dental nurses’ section of its union.

Community, which represents workers across a range of different sectors, will welcome dental nurses into its ranks at a dentistry convention in Manchester tomorrow.

The dental sector has faced a wide range of challenges over the past few years and Community is looking to become a new voice to stand up for the interests of dental nurses across the UK. The union was approached by a group of self-organised dental nurses called Dental Nurse Connect who wanted a new union for dental nurses to join in order to better tackle the workplace issues they face.

There is often a lack of respect, recognition and reward for the vital part that they play in the dental team

Celie Brookes

Community General Secretary Roy Rickhuss CBE said: “We are very proud to welcome the dental nursing sector into our union. At a time when nationwide access to dental services is in crisis, there is a growing awareness of the vital work dental nurses do both in supporting dentists to care for patients, helping to streamline procedures, and delivering critical safety practices within the surgery.

“We also know there are increased pressures on dental nurses, so it’s really important that they have as many people fighting in their corner as possible. We are delighted to have been approached by dental nurses, having seen our track record of supporting and getting results for our members, to create a dental nurses’ sector within Community. We look forward to standing with dental nurses across the UK and becoming a strong voice for the sector – something these workers need and deserve.”

Dental Nurse and Community member Celie Brookes said: “Dental nurses have been facing significant issues for some time. There is often a lack of respect, recognition and reward for the vital part that they play in the dental team. All of this compounded by the immense pressure that the sector has been placed under. It’s impossible not to see these challenges laid bare when people are pulling their teeth out with pliers because they cannot get into an NHS Dentist. We formed as Dental Nurses Community (DNC) because there’s a real feeling in the profession that Dental Nurses just haven’t had a strong enough voice from the floor, fighting for them.

“We have made fantastic strides so far and are really proud to be working with Community Union to represent nurses in the Dental sector. We need support for our members in workplaces and someone to stand up for their interests nationally. That’s what Community Union offers for dental nurses: support to challenge employment issues and a collective voice to champion them nationally. I’d encourage all dental nurses that want to see a better tomorrow for our profession to join Community today.”

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