This petition was submitted during the 2017–2019 Conservative government

Petition Make qualified Dental Nurse wage a minimum of £12 per hour.

Dental nurses earn on average around £9 per hour regardless of whether this is NHS or private practice and the wage does not reflect the experience or the additional qualifications/duties of the nurse. Dental practices quite simply could not run without the nurses. Their pay should reflect this!

More details

A dental nurses duty:
- Extra work outside of paid hours to ensure the smooth running of a practice
- Stock control
- Infection control & exposure to infection/pathogens & bacteria
- Receptionist duties
- Ensure all equipment is sterilised accordingly
- Adhere to strict regulatory bodies
- Pay around £200+ per year for the privilege of being able to practice
- Pay for continuing professional development out of their poor wage
- Receive little to no recognition for the work they do.

This petition closed early because of a General Election Find out more on the Petitions Committee website

17,236 signatures

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Government responded

This response was given on 4 September 2019

Dental nurses are usually employed directly by dental practice owners. Dental practice owners are responsible for decisions about dental nurses' terms and conditions of employment, including pay.

Read the response in full

Decisions on the range of staff to employ and the rates of pay is a matter for dental practice owners. This is the case whether these are associate dentists, dental nurses or clinicians working in other areas of health care. Where dental practices hold an NHS contract, dental care professionals may work on the NHS contract providing NHS care as part of the dental team.

Dental practices (as non-NHS organisations) remain free to develop and adopt the terms and conditions of employment, including pay, that best help them attract and keep the staff they need. The Government would not force any employer to use an employment contract that is not right for them, their staff or the communities they serve. However, we hope good employers would set wage rates that reflect the skills and experience of their staff.

Dental nurses directly employed by an NHS provider, for example within an NHS hospital, are employed on Agenda for Change (AfC) terms and conditions. This is the national pay system for all non-medical staff and allocates posts to set pay bands using job evaluation. Dental nurses are generally employed on AfC pay band 4 which for 2019/20 pays £10.81 at the entry point and £12.16 per hour at the top of the pay band. Band 4 staff can be expected to progress to the top of the pay band after three years.

Department of Health and Social Care.