Increase funds or care will worsen, dentists warn

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The Independent Online
Patients could find it increasingly difficult to get an NHS dentist unless funding is increased, leaders of the profession will tell the Government today when they submit a claim for an rise of at least 4.3 per cent in their fees.

The claim for an inflation-busting pay rise will increase the pressure on the Treasury to concede higher claims in the NHS.

The dentists follow nurses, family doctors and other groups in seeking substantial pay increases, in spite of a warning this week by the Treasury to the public sector pay review bodies that they must keep their recommendations "low" and affordable.

The British Dental Association will tell the Doctors and Dentists Pay Review Body that more dentists are finding that they cannot sustain a practice that relies on NHS fees.

Claiming that dentistry is underfunded, the BDA is calling for funding for dental practices to be increased by pounds 40m to help areas where there are problems of access to NHS dentistry.