New report claims morale is tumbling among dentists in Wales
A new report claims that morale is tumbling among dentists in Wales. According to research by NHS Digital, almost 75 percent of dentists have considered leaving the profession.
The British Dental Association suggests that “savage cuts” are to blame for low morale and increased difficulty in recruiting new dentists. Figures were significantly higher in Wales than England, where less than half of dentists admitted to considering leaving the industry.
Representatives from the Welsh Government said that they are trying to work with dentists to improve working conditions and relieve pressure by recruiting more dentists, however, the BDA disputed the claims. Chair of the BDA’s Welsh General Dental Practice Committee, Katrina Clarke, stated that morale was “on the floor.”
Survey results from NHS Digital from 2015/2016 show that only just over a third of dentists in Wales said that they felt happy in their jobs, compared to over 50 percent in England. The BDA also pointed out that rates of pay have decreased significantly, with real term pay falling by round 35 percent in the last decade.
Ms Clarke condemned “savage cuts” and suggested that both patients and dental professionals are suffering as a result of pay caps and a lack of investment in NHS dental services. Members of the profession have recently spoken out against the government, accusing them of reducing spending and going back on a promise to plough millions of pounds into the NHS dental system in Wales. New places have been made available, but the real term budget for dentistry has been cut, and money that had been allocated to improving access to NHS services has been used for other purposes, according to dentists.
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