DCPs welcome new option to pay ARF in instalments
The British Association of Dental Nurses and the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy have welcomed the General Dental Council’s announcement of a new option to pay the annual retention fee in instalments.
The pandemic has been a difficult time financially for many dental professionals, so this new option to split the payment into four, more manageable, quarterly direct debits of £28.50 for dental care professionals is likely to make a considerable difference for a number of individuals.
To take advantage of the option in 2021, DCPs need to log in to eGDC from early May and select the quarterly direct debit option no later than May 31, 2021. Further details will follow once the system has been set up.
The BSDHT said, “The society is glad that the regulator has listened to the concerns of the BSDHT and its members, and has made this more flexible option available. Hopefully this measure will make a difference for many dental hygienists and dental therapists and in the future.”
The BADN president, Jacqui Elsden, commented, “The BADN shas been lobbying the GDC for some years to allow payment by instalments, but the answer was always that this would be too costly, and additionally that it was not possible under the current legal framework.
“Dental nurses are the lowest paid members of the dental team, and many work part time. Our recent salary survey shows that the majority earn between £10k and £20k a year, and that 54 per cent have to pay their own ARF, so a single large payment of £114 every July was a financial burden for many dental nurses, particularly recently.
“£114 per year is still too high a fee for dental nurses, particularly given the circumstances of the last year when many dental nurses were not paid their full salaries (or even, in some cases, paid at all), but the GDC refused a request by the BADN in 2020 to lower the ARF, even temporarily. We are, however, pleased that they have at least finally agreed to one of our proposals by allowing dental nurses to pay the ARF in instalments.
“We hope that now the GDC have acknowledged the financial burden the ARF places on dental nurses, they will give further consideration to the BADN’s two other proposals: that the ARF be lowered to a more realistic figure for dental nurses, and that a lower ARF be implemented for all dental professionals, not just dental nurses, who work part time.”