The British Dental Association (BDA) has called for assurances that plans to deploy new dental graduates to areas where NHS dentistry is hard to access for their vocational training will not compromise the quality of training that they receive.Health Minister Ann Keen recently announced that many dental students graduating in 2009 and in subsequent years will be deployed to areas where oral health need or demand is greatest.
Peter Ward, Chief Executive of the BDA, said:
?Vocational training is an important year that takes new graduates and provides them with a supportive environment in which to further develop their practical skills. It?s an investment in their professional capabilities that will benefit patients over the course of their careers.
?Vocational trainees should not be placed under pressure to complete large volumes of work in a bid to solve the growing problem of access to NHS dentistry. It?s important that the plan announced today doesn?t dilute the quality of their training experience.?
Ann Keen also announced that the ring-fencing of funding for primary care NHS dentistry, which was due to end in 2009, has been extended to 2011.
Peter Ward said:
?The spectre of the end of ring fencing in 2009 has been a cause of great anxiety for dentists. The BDA has repeatedly sought assurances about what will happen and is pleased to see that our concerns on this issue have been listened to.?