Recruitment drive must be supported
 

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Recruitment drive must be supported

 

Recruitment drive must be supported

The Government proudly boasted that it had achieved its target of attracting more than 1,000 new dentists to the NHS last week. This raised an eyebrow in the editorial office of Dentistry magazine. The ex-chief dental officer Raman Bedi confirmed this to me in October also, just after he vacated
the post.

You could view this as positive PR for the Government at a time when its actions are under scrutiny, as we get closer to important announcements about the new contract.

It is almost amusing to see how much fuss is made (Peter Mandleson style) of achieving one target. The Minister made a big fuss of meeting new dental students, gained as a result of her policies.

Contrast this with small but important amendments to the new contract, leaked to Dentistry magazine this week. They were slipped into the public domain without pomp or ceremony (see the full story in our next issue).

The BDA welcomed the announcement but refused to be distracted from the fundamental issue of the moment – details about the new contract. Lester Ellman said: ‘If the Government is serious about tackling the current dental crisis it needs to take urgent steps to keep existing dentists within the NHS. Many dentists are questioning their future in the NHS as they are still waiting for information from the Government about the new system and contract to be
introduced in April next year.’

He is right. Further clarification is needed right now on:

• Kids-only lists, which only last week caused confusion with a PCT which refused to offer one. It said Barry Cockcroft’s letter was open to different interpretations and could therefore be sued on grounds of discrimination. Because of this the PCT will choose the safe option.

• The currency of the new contract – UDAs
• Patient fees: the software companies, needed a definite answer on fees about six months ago
• Associates and so on.

There is no doubt that much more cast-iron comment
clarifying these important issues with the new contract would slow down and possibly stop the exodus from the NHS. This same exodus is butchering the efforts of the Department of Health’s recruitment drive over the last 12 months – resulting in a huge waste of taxpayers money.


 Posted on : Fri 25th - Nov - 2005

 

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