Dental care professionals

Securing the future workforce supply: Dental care professionals stocktake was jointly commissioned by Health Education England (HEE) and the Department of Health (DH) and provides an evidence base for planning the future DCP workforce, looking ahead to 2025. It was published on 16 October 2014.

Our modelling indicated a likely steep increase in demand for dental hygienists, dental therapists, orthodontic therapists and dental nurses over the next 10 years. This increase in demand is matched with an undersupply in three of these DCP workforces (dental hygienists, dental therapists and dental nurses). The modelling also forecasts a slight oversupply of orthodontic therapists if this workforce were to continue to expand at the same rate. The supply forecasts are based on increased utilisation of DCPs in the future.

Overall, our research suggested that DCPs could provide a significantly greater share of the future dental care workload (between 18 and 25 per cent more than today) by 2025, provided there is a ‘concerted effort’ from across the system to support further utilisation of the DCP workforce.

The CfWI suggested inn the report that:

  • It would be sensible to continue to monitor and review the demand and supply of the DCP workforce, whilst considering any system changes (e.g. training and local needs) that may affect their balance.
  • A review of the dentist and DCP workforces as a whole every three years coupled with on-going monitoring would help to ensure the impact of any intervention and emerging risks can be appropriately tracked.
  • To improve the quality and robustness of future modelling, it would be helpful to the system to conduct a survey on General Dental Council (GDC) registrants to gain more data on participation rates of the DCP workforce.