The "Golden Hello" grants that were designed to nlure health practioners to distant areas where there is a shortage of NHS personnel has failed for the dental segment in the Scottish area of Lothians, it was reported. The scheme has allocated a £10,000 grant per dentist to enable them to move to areas where there is a sever shortage of dentists and surgeries. It has emerged not that only about five dentists have shifted to Lothians meaning that an additional 7,500 patients will be able to register with a NHS dentist. However, many critics of this scheme say that it has failed miserably in getting dentists to relocate to areas where their services are most needed. "The golden hello is payable directly to a new dentist over a two-year period when they join an NHS dental practice in Scotland for the first time. This means a dentist usually qualifies for the grant when someone has retired or relocated," said Colwyn Jones, consultant in dental public health at NHS Lothian. The total number of dentists who have received the grants so far number just 36. The British Dental council felt that Golden Hello's did not do much to solve the dental crisis that has enveloped the NHS in the UK, "Golden hellos do not alleviate the problems in areas that suffer worst because they don't encourage new dentists into an area. The majority of the dentists who benefit from it will be joining a practice in which someone has retired. They are not setting up new practices," a BDC spokeswoman was quoted as saying. In the past few months, the shortage of dentists has been acutely felt by the NHS in the UK.
Although several schemes have been introduced, there has been minimal progress towards solving the problem. The Golden Hello scheme was meant to offer cash incentives to health workers to shift to areas where their services are acutely needed. This does not appear to be working especially where dentistry is concerned.