Survey reveals ARF increase is too high for dental nurses

Survey reveals ARF increase is too high for dental nurses

26 Jan 2011

At the end of 2010, The BADN  carried out an online survey to find out members’ views on the increase of the GDC Annual Retention Fee to £120 in July 2011. The survey revealed:

• 97 per cent of respondents considered the increased fee of £120 to be too high for dental nurses and felt that there should be a separate, lower, ARF for dental nurses.
• 89 per cent of respondents felt that there should be a lower ARF for part-time workers.
• 79 per cent of respondents paid their own ARF with no financial assistance from their employers. Employers of 16 per cent paid respondents’ ARF in full, and five per cent in part.
• Of that five per cent, just over half paid between £30 and £40 towards the ARF; a quarter paid between £40 and £50.
• 94 per cent stated that they would re-register in July 2011 – although most pointed out that they had no choice if they wished to continue working as a dental nurse.
• Of those respondents who stated that they would not be re-registering in July 2011, 68 per cent stated that it was because they could not afford the ARF/were leaving the profession.
• 85 per cent of respondents expressed their willingness to lobby MPs regarding the ARF.
• 29 per cent of respondents considered that an ARF of between £50 and £60 would be appropriate for dental nurses; with 19 per cent each considering ARFs of £40 to £50 and £60 to £70 appropriate for dental nurses. 11 per cent considered an ARF of £70 to £80 acceptable, whilst 14 per cent considered £40 to be the acceptable limit for dental nurses.

BADN President, Sue Bruckel said, “The GDC’s Annual Retention Fee is based on a statement made in a GDC  meeting, some five years ago by the then DCP representative,  a hygienist, that dental nurses in the UK earn as much as hygienists. Although all dental nurses know that this is complete rubbish, this statement – made in a formal meeting by someone who, at that time, supposedly represented all DCPs on the GDC – has been used ever since by the GDC to justify charging dental nurses the same ARF as hygienists and therapists. We need solid evidence to prove to the GDC that this is not the case and that the 2011 fee of £120 for dental nurses is causing financial hardship.”

She adds: “The difference in salaries is illustrated by Agenda for Change (salaries paid to those working in hospitals and community services). Figures from April 2010 show that dental nurses range from Band 3 to 4 (£15,610 – £21,798). Some are lucky and get a Band 5 (£21,176 – £27,798), though very few I have to say.

“Dental hygienists/therapists on the other hand, range from Band 6 to 7 (£25,472 – £40,157).”

Salary survey launched
To help build a case, the BADN has launched an online 2010/11 Dental Nurse Salary Survey, which will be used to lobby the GDC, MPs and other relevant authorities for a more realistic ARF for dental nurses.
The Survey will cover the tax year which ended April 2010, and is open to all dental nurses in the UK. It will be conducted through the CVENT facility – several thousand dental nurses will be sent an email invitation to participate. Others can access the Survey via a link on the BADN website www.badn.org.uk. Participants will also be able to forward a personalised message to dental nurse colleagues inviting them to participate.
The Survey will close on March 31, 2011.

The full BADN members’ survey on the increased ARF is available on request. Email xs@badn.org.uk.

Christie and Co