If you are covering the impact of the NHS inquiry for dentists, please see the following comment from Nigel Jones, Sales and Marketing Director at Practice Plan, part of Wesleyan Financial Services:
"A serious discussion about workforce planning and the challenges presented by the competition for associate dentists and dental nurses is long overdue.
"The cost of recruiting and retaining staff is putting more pressure on practices at a time when they are already experiencing elevated running costs, including energy bills.
"Many practices delivering NHS care are hanging on by a thread. If they lose an associate, it is extremely challenging to replace them and there’s the danger they will miss their activity targets and face financial penalties.
"A key question will be how, in the face of competition from private practices, we can make NHS dentistry sufficiently attractive to appeal to homegrown dentists, as well as those who could come from abroad to help maintain service levels.
"With no increase in funding and a contract that is universally acknowledged as not being fit for purpose, that looks an impossible task at the moment.
"Though there is certainly a strong argument to make more of hygienists’ and dental therapists’ skills, it’s not at all clear where they will come from and how quickly they can be trained.
"I hope the inquiry can provide a clear vision for the future of NHS dentistry, which would provide hope and encouragement to those dentists who want to help reduce oral health inequality in our society."
For more comments from Wesleyan, contact our PR Manager, Nicola Pledger.