Salaried dentists making a difference in Scotland
New figures show a sharp rise in the amount of
work being carried out by NHS salaried dentists in Scotland.
The number of appointments carried out by salaried dentists is up
by more than 20% over the last year, and by nearly 70% on two years
Today's Scottish Dental Practice Board Annual Report also shows in
the year to March 2006 an extra 50 salaried dentists posts were created
across Scotland, specifically to do NHS work.
Meanwhile, new figures from ISD Scotland also show a rise in the number
of NHS GDS dentists working in Scotland, while there has been little
change in the percentage of the population who are registered with
an NHS general dentist. The ISD figures do not include the majority
of patients seen by salaried dentists.
Deputy Health Minister Lewis Macdonald said:
" Today's report is good news for patients. Salaried dentists
are now treating tens of thousands of people through the NHS. More
and more are being recruited, and the overall activity undertaken by
these professionals is rising sharply.
_ Too often, the amount of work carried
out by this group is not fully recognised. Most of the patients seen
by salaried dentists are
not registered, but that doesn't mean we should ignore the amount of
NHS work they are doing.
_ I've acknowledged there are problems
of access in certain parts of Scotland, and we are working to address
that. Part of the solution
has been for local Health Boards to recruit salaried dentists.
_ I'm also pleased to see the number
of non-salaried NHS dentists is beginning to rise, and I would hope
to welcome even more into the
health service over the next few months and years.
_ Since the Dental Action Plan was
launched in 2005, we are investing record amounts to make sure we
deliver a first class NHS dental service.
_ That's included doubling allowances
for NHS dental practices, investment to upgrade premises, a dental
bursary scheme to encourage
more dental students to pursue their careers in the NHS, and much more."
The increase in the activity of the salaried general dental service
has seen a rise from 85,941 forms processed in the year to March 31,
2005 to 104,956 in the year to March 31, 2006. In the year to March
31, 2004 the number was 62,165.
The Scottish Dental Practice Board Annual Report gives a comprehensive
breakdown of dental activity in 2005/06. Between the quarters ending
Dec 31, 2005 and March 31, 2006 registration levels remained steady
at 47% for adults and 67% for
children. The overall number of NHS dental examinations carried out
by non-salaried dentists in 2005/06 was 2.15 million compared to 2.18
million in 2004/05.
Source: Scottish Executive (Scotland).