BADN "Dissappointed" with GDC decision regarding ARF
The British Association of Dental Nurses (BADN), the UK’s professional association for dental nurses, is “very disappointed” with the GDC decision to neither lower the ARF for Dental Care Professionals, due in July, nor to allow payment in instalments to ease the financial burden on dental nurses, many of whom have not been paid since February, BADN President Jacqui Elsden said today.
BADN President says:
Many dental nurses working in NHS and mixed practices have not been paid since February, despite their employers continuing to receive their NHS funding. BADN are constantly receiving calls and e-mails from general dental practice dental nurses who have been told by their employers that they will not be paid until the practices re-open. Others are being told that they will have to forfeit their annual leave for this year and even next year to cover the period that the practice is closed.
These dental nurses are angry and disillusioned at the way they have been treated by their NHS(1) contract holder employers, the NHS and the GDC, and many will not return to dental nursing. Now that the GDC has refused to offer any assistance with regard to paying the ARF, many more dental nurses will be unable to renew their registration in July – many can’t even feed their children at the moment, let alone find £114 to pay the GDC – and so will be unable to continue working as dental nurses from 1 August 2020. When practices do open, dentists, hygienists and therapists could find themselves without adequate dental nursing support. Without the valuable support of dental nurses across the UK, towards the latter part of the year, many questions will be raised about patient safety.
BADN, which is also dependent on fees for its funding, has nevertheless managed to temporarily cut its already low membership fee by 40% to allow dental nurses – the lowest paid members of the dental team even pre-COVID – to enjoy the benefits of membership. I am greatly saddened by the GDC’s decision not to support dental nurses, and other registrants, at this very difficult time.
GDC update regarding the Annual Retention Fee can be found here.
1 - Dental nurses working in NHS and mixed practices are not recognised as NHS employees, but are considered to be employed by the NHS contract holder. They are therefore denied access to the NHS pension scheme, NHS salaries, NHS ID, etc and are not recognised as key workers. This has not however stopped the NHS from expecting them to volunteer for redeployment to the front line to help out in other areas of the NHS.