Facets of job satisfaction of dental practitioners working in different organisational settings in England

R V Harris, A Ashcroft, G Burnside, J M Dancer, D Smith, B Grieveson
British Dental Journal 2008 January 12, 204 (1): E1; discussion 16-7

INTRODUCTION: Before April 2006, English dentists were either working as an NHS general dental service (GDS) practitioner (fee-per-item, no local contractual obligations); an NHS personal dental service (PDS) practitioner (block contract with the primary care trust (PCT)); a private practitioner (either fee-per-item or capitation-based, independent of the PCT); or in a situation where they were mixing their NHS work (either under the GDS or PDS arrangements) with private work.

OBJECTIVES: To a) investigate the extent of the mix of NHS and private work in English dentists working in the GDS and PDS, b) to compare global job satisfaction, and c) to compare facets of job satisfaction for practitioners working in the different organisational settings of PDS practices, GDS practices and practices where there is a mix of NHS and private provision. Method A questionnaire was sent to 684 practitioners, containing 83 attitudinal statements relating to job facets, a global job satisfaction score and questions concerning workload.

RESULTS: Response rate was 65.2%. More PDS than GDS dentists were found to treat the majority of their patients under the NHS. GDS dentists working fully in the NHS were least likely to be satisfied with their job, followed by PDS practitioners and then GDS dentists working in mixed NHS/private practices. Private practitioners were the most satisfied.

CONCLUSION: Differences between GDS, PDS and private practitioners were found in global job satisfaction and in the facets of job satisfaction related to restriction in being able to provide quality care, control of work and developing clinical skills.

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