HC Deb 05 August 1965 vol 717 cc434-6W
Mr. Duffy

asked the Prime Minister whether Her Majesty's Government have completed their consideration of the Report of the Review Body on the Remuneration of General Dental Practitioners.

1965 The Prime Minister

Yes. The Government accept the Review Body's advice, which is reproduced in full below.

It will be noted that the Review Body's present recommendation is not designed to provide dentists with a higher average net income during the current review period than was intended by the Review Body's previous recommendation which was accepted by the Government on 1st February.

The following is the text of Lord Kindersley's letter of 13th July, 1965:—

Cabinet Office, London, S.W.1.

th July,


Sixth Report

Remuneration of General Dental Practitioners

On 10th December, 1964, we submitted to you our Second Report, on the target average net income of general dental practitioners working wholly or partly as principals in the General Dental Services. The last paragraph of that Report read as follows:

"10. After considering evidence about present and future levels of output, practice expenses and net income given to us by the Health Departments and the British Dental Association, we have decided to recommend that the level of average net income from now on until our next review should be that which would result from leaving the scale of fees now in operation unchanged during that period. The effect of this will be to increase average net income over the whole of the period covered by our recommendations last year, by an amount which we consider to be justified by the increased personal effort which the dentists have been putting into their work, including particularly the longer hours of working. This recommendation is not intended to preclude adjustments within the fee scale that do not alter average net income." You announced the Government's acceptance of this recommendation in the House of Commons on 1st February, 1965.

2. We have recently received submissions from the British Dental Association and the Health Departments revising the estimates of average gross earnings and average practice expenses which were placed before us when we were deciding upon our recommendation last year. Statistical information that has recently become available shows that the earlier estimates made no allowance for a change in the structure of the profession since the beginning of 1964 and insufficient allowance for the rate at which practice expenses have been increasing. Though the estimates now given to us by the British Dental Association differ somewhat from those given to us by the Health Departments, on either set of estimates it is clear that the fee scale is yielding and would, if unchanged, continue to yield a lower average net income than that which we envisaged when we made our recommendation last December. In other words, that recommendation is not achieving the result which we intended.

3. The Health Departments have invited us to frame a revised recommendation in terms of the fee scale rather than of target net income. We should however be reluctant to do that, since it is the function of the Dental Rates Study Group to determine the scale of fees which can he expected to produce a given level of average net income. We are therefore framing our revised recommendation in terms of net income.

4. We have confined our consideration on this occasion to the change that is needed to bring about the result which we intended should be brought about by our recommendation last December, taking into account the change in the structure of the profession and the revised estimates which have been drawn to our attention. Our present recommendation is not designed to yield a higher level of average income over the whole of the period covered by our recommendations in 1963 than we intended last December. The target net income will be reviewed in the usual way at our next general review.

5. We recommend that the scale of fees should be adjusted so as to yield average net income at the rate of £2,950 a year. We trust that the Dental Rates Study Group wilt reach early agreement on changes of fees that can be expected to produce this result, since we regard it as important that the new level of average net income should come into effect as quickly as possible. We recommend that the new scale of fees should be payable from the earliest convenient date after it has been agreed by the Group on all courses of treatment begun on or after that date.


The Right Hon. Harold Wilson, O.B.E., M.P., 10, Downing Street, London, S.W.1.