Dental contract hits the ‘terrible twos’ – and it’s ‘bleak’ says BDA

There’ll be no balloons or birthday cake at the BDA today as the dental contract hits its second birthday.

‘This is a bleak second birthday for the new dental contract with criticism from the profession and patients continuing to gain momentum, said Susie Sanderson, Chair of the BDA’s Executive Board.

‘The level of concern is starkly revealed in the evidence given to the Health Select Committee, currently investigating the impact of the Government’s troubled and controversial reforms of NHS dentistry.

‘In the course of this second year, we have seen: statistics released that revealed 47% of dentists failed to meet their first year UDA targets; figures that show access to NHS dentistry has still not been improved by the reforms; a Patients Association survey of MPs that found dentistry was the health issue that caused most concern to their constituents and the decision by the House of Commons’ Health Select Committee to undertake an inquiry into the dental reforms.’

She added: ‘The BDA will continue to call for action to tackle the flaws in this target-driven system and is also working proactively at a local level to encourage the commissioning of dentistry which genuinely meets local people’s needs.’

Meanwhile, theargus.co.uk – the news website for Brighton Hove and Sussex – reports that Sussex dentists are being forced to turn patients away because they’ve fullfiled their UDA targets.

Areas also affected include Merseyside, Derbyshire and Birmingham.

A spokesman for the BDA said: ‘There are likely to be many dentists who have now reached the end of the financial year… they’re not being paid for any more work because they have reached the end of their allocated quota for the year.’

However, the BDA fears dentists elsewhere will be forced to pay back thousands of pounds to the NHS having not met their quota targets.

A spokesman for the Department of Health said: ‘As with any system there has been some settling in time.

‘But we are confident that it is a fair and workable solution which will ensure dentistry remains under NHS provision.’

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