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Dental workforce data processing

Purpose

The dental workforce in Scotland works in a range of settings and consequently the data are derived from different sources. In order to report a complete picture of this workforce we combine data from three difference sources.

The following applies for the data released as part of the NHSScotland Workforce official statistics publication.

Process

The dental workforce data are held in three sources:

  • Dentists working in the general dental services (GDS) are independent contractors and are usually the first point of contact for NHS dental treatment. People registered with a dentist can receive the full range of NHS treatment available under GDS. Data on this workforce is sourced from the Management Information and Dental Accounting System (MIDAS) held at Public Health Scotland. In the official statistics, these dentists can be found in the Dentist table released in June and September.
  • Dentists working in hospitals and community health services provide dental care for people who have either been referred for further treatment or could not get care through the GDS (for example for patients who are residents of long-stay care). These dentists are directly employed by NHSScotland and their data are sourced from SWISS. In the official statistics, these dentists can be found in the staff in post updated quarterly and the Dentist table released in June and September.
  • New or recent dental graduates undertake a one-year programme which will allow them to work as an Associate or Principle in the GDS. Data on these Vocational Dental Practitioners are available in Turas People. In the official statistics, these dentists can be found in the Dentist table released in June and September.

These data are merged, using dentists' General Dental Council registration number to identify Dentists who work across these areas, e.g. Dentists who work both in GDS and as a Hospital Doctor.