UDA ‘a crazy unit of measurement’ government told

The British Dental Association (BDA) today called on the government to scrap its current method of monitoring NHS dentistry – units of dental activity (UDAs) – in favour of something more flexible.

And BDA executive board chair Susie Sanderson warned that it would be difficult to improve access to NHS care unless UDAs were scrapped as the sole measure of dentists’ work.

Giving oral evidence to the health select committee’s inquiry into NHS dental and orthodontic services this morning, Dr Sanderson said: ‘The unit of dental activity is a crazy unit of measurement. If we continue to use UDAs as the sole measure of activity, then we have no chance whatsoever of making sure dental provision is improved, particularly for the disadvantaged cohorts of the population.’

She also explained the many problems created by the new contract, including the reduced number of patients able to access NHS dentistry since the introduction of the new contract and problems with both the threat and reality of clawback against dentists who do not achieve their UDA targets.

The BDA has said it wants to work with the DoH and PCTs to find constructive solutions to the many problems facing NHS dentistry.

The full session of today’s session of health select committee can be viewed at www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/

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