The British Dental Association (BDA) has indicated it will move to hold a referendum on government pledges to change consultant pay scales and the pay review process.
The BDA and BMA’s shared objectives have been to achieve two things – an above-inflation pay uplift for this year (2023/2024) and reforms to the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB) to fix pay now and for the future. While imperfect, the government has made an offer that makes progress on each of these goals.
The offer will see an additional 3.45 per cent investment together with a reallocation of money around 1.5 per cent of the pay bill on new local Clinical Excellence Awards. This gives a total of 4.95 per cent that will be used to reform the current consultant pay scale. This will be in addition to the six per cent pay award for 2023/24 and the outcome of the pay review process for 2024/25.
A small but important part of the NHS workforce, dental consultants have participated in ongoing industrial action in England, alongside their medical colleagues. Further strike action among this group is set to be postponed pending the result of the vote.
Eddie Crouch, British Dental Association chair, said, “We now have an offer that covers changes to pay scales and to a pay review body that has demonstrably lacked independence.
“Our consultants aren’t worth a penny less than they were a decade ago. We’ve made progress here and look to our members to have the final say.”