Pilots issues require continued professional engagement

Pilots issues require continued professional engagement

Pilots issues require continued professional engagement
© 2014 Jacob Krikor D.D.S (Swe)

Published on:
Monday, 10 February 2014, 0:00
Europe/London (GMT) +0000 UTC

Continued engagement between the Department of Health (DH) and the profession is vital if issues with pilots for the reform of contractual arrangements in England are to be resolved, the British Dental Association (BDA) has reiterated.

The warning follows the publication of a new report: NHS Dental Contract Pilots – Learning after two years of piloting. It identifies an overall health gain for patients at participating practices, but warns that many are struggling to maintain the number of patients they are able to see, particularly initially as patients undergo the detailed Oral Health Assessment that is being trialled.

Some pilot participants also raised practical concerns around the software being used, pointing to the need to sometimes override the system, the large amount of colour printing involved in producing care plans and some of the language in the plans not being patient friendly.

Also identified are repercussions for use of skill mix in dentistry, with the important role of DCPs, including Extended Duties Dental Nurses, in the delivery of the care pathway the pilots are trialling, noted. Such arrangements present particular challenges for smaller practices, the report warns.

Dr John Milne, the Chair of the BDA’s General Dental Practice Committee, said: “This is an interesting and useful report and I urge all those with a stake in the future of NHS dentistry in England to read it. It identifies a number of complex learning points that must be addressed by continued dialogue between the Department and the profession before wholesale reform can be implemented.

“It is important that engagement continues as all parties strive for new arrangements that work for practitioners and patients alike. The profession has endured the difficulties created by the 2006 contract for what feel like eight very long years and GDPC will continue to press hard for the delivery of new arrangements.” Further details of the report are available on the BDA website. Dr Milne will be hosting daily sessions looking at the pilots and contractual reform at the 2014 British Dental Conference and Exhibition.

United Kingdom
System reference number: PRLS-00000003-20140210143440