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20 Feb 2024

BADN responds to dental recovery plan

BADN responds to dental recovery plan

The British Association of Dental Nurses (BADN), the UK’s professional association for dental nurses, today welcomed the Dental Recovery Plan as “a first step in the right direction” – but says the Plan “does not adequately address the current dental nursing recruitment and retention crisis”. 


The Plan includes: 

  • New programmes to promote oral health 

  • Deployment of teams to worst areas for oral health/NHS access/dental vans to underserved areas 

  • “Golden Hello” payments to attract dentists into new areas/Introduction of New “Patient Premium” 

  • Expansion of dental undergraduate training places by 40%/Expansion of dental therapy and dental hygiene training places by 28% by 2028/9 and by further 40% by 2031/32 

  • Promotion of therapist-led models of care 

  • Increase of exam capacity for overseas qualified dentists/streamlining of registration of overseas dentists/make it easier for overseas dental professionals to work in the NHS/exploration of automatic recognition of international qualifications outside the EEA 

  • Funding/contract reform/UDA uplift 


“The Recovery Plan is certainly a starting point” said BADN Honorary President Joan Hatchard.  “But it fails to take into account the fact that increasing the number of dentists/hygienists/therapists requires a similar increase in the number of dental nurses, as clinicians cannot work with dental nurses.  The Plan blithely states that the NHS will also encourage more dental nurses to pursue training programmes – without giving any specific details on how this will be achieved! 


“The recent survey carried out by Dr Debbie Reed of the University of Kent, in collaboration with BADN, shows that dental nurses are disillusioned by low salary levels (often only minimum wage), lack of career pathways, lack of recognition and support from their employers and are leaving the profession.  The crisis in dental nurse recruitment and retention can only be resolved if these issues are addressed. 


“BADN is happy to work with the appropriate organisations regarding implementation of the Plan, but urges those organisations to bear in mind that dentistry is not just dentists – dental nurses are the largest registrant group and the mainstay of the dental team.  Dental nurses, and their needs, must be included in the equation!” 

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