A co-ordinated approach is often not possible as dental services in Scotland operate on a fee for item of service model, which is entirely different from the contract model that is used in England and Wales. However, where we identify areas of mutual concern, such as workforce, the intention is to raise that with UK Government colleagues.
I thank the minister for that answer. I welcome the comments that Jenni Minto made earlier this month to confirm extended Scottish dental access initiative grants and the enhanced recruitment and retention allowance. Importantly, the minister also noted that she was working with and writing to UK Department of Health and Social Care ministers to seek improvements to the registration process for overseas dentists on a four-countries basis. Can the minister provide an update on any progress made on that work to increase dentistry workforce pipelines from overseas? Does she agree that that work is vital to address the destructive impact of Brexit and improve oral healthcare for patients?
Stephanie Callaghan makes an important point about the impact that Brexit has had on workforces in Scotland. The Scottish Parliament approved legislation that came into force on 8 March 2023, which provides the General Dental Council with flexibility regarding international registration. As Stephanie Callaghan mentioned, I am in the process of writing to Department of Health and Social Care ministers to ensure that changes are made on a four-nations basis to improve the registration process for overseas dentists. I can also confirm that the cabinet secretary will raise that matter when he meets the GDC on 15 June.