The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety in Northern Ireland (DHSSPSNI) has agreed the basis for a new contract that would see an increase in educational funding of 4.4% for community dental services.
The breakthrough comes after seven years of lobbying by the British Dental Association (BDA). According to the contract, each dentist would receive £750 for training and development, bringing it in line with contracts in England and Wales.
The BDA is now balloting its members on the new contract. Grainne Quinn, Chair of the BDA’s Northern Ireland Salaried Dentists Committee, said: “This deal represents a real victory for community dentists in Northern Ireland.
“Our negotiating team succeeded in securing a proposed settlement which, if accepted by members, will be backdated to April 2015. This goes some way towards acknowledging the significant delays with the process to date. The introduction of a £750 allowance recognises the importance of ongoing training and development for community dentists and would bring us into line with our colleagues in England & Wales.
“I believe this proposal represents a good outcome for community dentists in N Ireland and, on behalf of the Salaried Dental Committee, I would recommend acceptance of this offer.”