15 Nov 2019  •  Blog, NHS Dental Landscape  •  3min read

Eddie Crouch- The latest update on NHS Dental Contract Reform

Eddie Crouch shares the latest news on contract reform, including plans from the Government to extend the prototype regulations beyond March 2020, rising clawback and the increasing focus on flexible commissioning…

Recently the BDA has been consulted by the Department of Health and Social Care in amending regulations to allow extension of prototyping of a reformed dental contract.

This is no surprise as the current regulations expire in March 2020. Not extending would result in all prototypes having to re-enter UDA contracts.

However, it’s a further indication of the slow progress being made on reform, and perhaps a reason why flexible commissioning has moved up the agenda in the last six months.

Many practices continue to struggle with the 2006 contract and the clawback totals rise at an alarming rate with estimates for the figures for 2018-19 exceeding £200 million.

The future of many practices may be bleak unless some action is taken urgently.

Meetings in the last few months at the BDA between LDN Chairs, NHS England and the BDA have started to formulate ideas on how UDA activity can be exchanged into other patient services, a bigger use of skill mix in prevention or indeed assistance with recruitment issues, now common in many more areas.

So, whilst the difficulties in prototypes continue, the development of suitable remuneration for capitation and decisions on appropriate patient numbers that practices will be expected to service continue to be developed.

Going forward it may not be ready for the roll-out of reformed contracts in April 2020, but changes are coming, and dentists should be prepared and informed on what options lie ahead for their practices, staff and patients.

The recently announced General Election leaves the Health Select Committee inquiry into NHS Dental Services in limbo, and the political outcome of the election is not certain.

But any incoming government will need to act quickly on the impending crisis in NHS dental services and events such as ‘What Next for NHS Dentistry?’ will help colleagues better understand the current landscape.

Eddie will be on the panel with other key opinion leaders from within the dental profession at two free ‘What Next for NHS Dentistry?’ events for NHS dentists to learn more about what the future may hold and how they can best prepare.

The events take place on:

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