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Dental Graduate Tie-In

We have now launched a “poll of the month” across LDC members. The first topic was on the proposal included in the recent dental recovery plan to tie in new graduates to the NHS. The proposal so far is very top line, limited to:

We will launch a consultation this spring on introducing a ‘tie-in’ for graduate dentists. This would ensure that graduates spend at least some of their time delivering NHS care in the years following the completion of undergraduate training. Subject to consultation, we will consider the impact of these measures and explore whether we need to go further – for example, tie-in periods related to specialty training or a tie-in for other dental professional groups.

Faster, simpler and fairer: our plan to recover and reform NHS dentistry

While our first poll only received a small response (28), it demonstrated strong support for the proposal. 

18 responders (64 per cent) were very strongly in favour of the proposal for a tie-in, while 10 (36 per cent) were opposed to some degree to the proposal. 

This sample is too small to really direct the policy, but it is interesting to see the strength of feeling. The poll didn’t ask any detailed question about why people would support or oppose the proposal, so we thought we would provide a second opportunity for people to respond and provide some points in favour and against the proposal to see what resonates:


  • In reality, it’s just an extension of NHS Dental Foundation Training.
  • It provides a framework for new graduates to develop their skills for longer under experienced supervision, rather than just working privately. 
  • It helps develop clinical skills rather than cosmetic skills. 
  • Greater exposure to NHS care and patients may encourage more graduates to stay in the NHS. 
  • It would ensure that graduates have exposure to a wider range of career options by exploring the full range of dental careers offered by the NHS.
  • Dentistry is a heavily subsidised course so it’s only right that they give back more.


  • It doesn’t address the underlying cause of recruitment.
  • The number of dentists and graduates is not the problem, the NHS contract is.
  • Sends the wrong message about NHS dentistry.
  • How long would this be in place for if the move is to increased use of skillmix instead?
  • People shouldn’t be compelled to work in a system that doesn’t appeal to them. 
  • There are other professions which also have a shortage but there is no compulsion in those.

There is no detail at present and many unanswered questions such as how long is “some of their time”, how it would affect indemnity, overseas registrants, how practices would be supported, what the financial arrangements would be, would people move from GDS to CDS etc.

Let us know your thoughts on the proposal again and this time, let us know why you’re voting the way you do: