The Association of Dental Groups has welcomed the publication of the first ever Long Term Workforce Plan published by the NHS and backed by the Government today.
The Workforce Plan sets out how the NHS will address existing vacancies and meet the challenges of a growing and aging population by recruiting and retaining hundreds of thousands of more staff over the next 15 years, including dentists. dental hygienists and therapists.
The Plan proposes to increase training places for dental therapists and hygiene professionals to more than 500 by 2031/32 and increase training places for dentists by 40% to more than 1,100 by the same year. In support of this training places for dental therapy and hygiene professionals will increase by 28% by 2028/29 with an increase of 24% for dentists to 1,000 places over the same period.
Neil Carmichael, Chair of the ADG said;
“The fact that we now have a long term workforce plan including dentistry is a welcome recognition of the recruitment and retention challenges facing the profession. We believe we should act now over international recruitment to address the immediate crisis and this plan then paves the way for the subsequent investment needed in our domestic dental schools and workforce for the future. The ADG welcomes that this process is underway and that the Government is backing the plan to fund additional education and training places over the next five years on top of existing funding commitments”.