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2. The percentage of dentists reporting "very high" or "high" morale levels decreased between 2012/13 and 2015/16 for all types of dentists except Principals in Scotland, where there was a slight increase in 2015/16 only.
3. When responding to the six motivation questions (A-F, below), those dentists who do more private work (0 - 25% NHS/Health Service share) recorded a higher percentage score of "agree" or "strongly agree" compared with colleagues who do mainly NHS/Health Service work (75 - 100%). The only exception to this is Associate dentists in Northern Ireland in their response to question D where 46.5% of those doing mainly private work agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, compared to 46.6% of those doing mainly Health Service work.
4. The analysis in this report is based on answers to a series of motivation and morale questions included in the biennial Dental Working Patterns (DWP) Survey which was sent to all primary care dentists in the United Kingdom who conducted some NHS/Health Service work in 2014/15 and/or 2015/16. All dentists included in the analysis for this report answered every motivation and morale question in the survey for the year(s) that they worked. Response rates were 25 per cent (4,929 responses) in England and Wales; 41 per cent (381 responses) in Northern Ireland and 33 per cent (780 responses) in Scotland. Where appropriate, weighting has been used to ensure the sample is representative. The six questions covering motivation were:
A. I feel good about my job as a dentist
B. I receive recognition for the work I do
C. I feel my pay is fair
D. I have all the equipment and resources I need to do my job properly
E. My job gives me the chance to do challenging and interesting work
F. There are opportunities for me to progress in my career
There was also one question relating to leaving dentistry and a final question addressing morale:
G. I often think about leaving general dentistry
H. How would you rate your morale as a dentist at the moment?
5. Note that different contractual arrangements exist for primary care dentists in England and Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. For the purpose of this report, a dentist in England/Wales is assigned a dental type based upon whether they held at least one contract with NHS England/Local Health Board (LHB) and had records of dental activity in the relevant year (Providing-Performer dentists) or if they only had records of activity but did not hold a contract with NHS England/LHB in the relevant year (Performer Only dentists). For Scotland and Northern Ireland, a dentist is assigned a dentist type (Principal or Associate) as declared on their survey return.
6. Within this release, figures of 1,000 - 9,999 have been rounded to the nearest thousand. Percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number. The term NHS is used to apply to England, Wales and Scotland; this is known as "Health Service" in Northern Ireland.
7. This publication is designated as "experimental statistics", which are new official statistics that are undergoing evaluation.
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