Practice management software company Software of Excellence have pledged to continue their work with the Department of Health in spite of uncertainty surrounding the specific direction of dental policy under the new government.
Prior to 6 May, both Conservatives and Liberal Democrats pledged that ‘better access’ was key to their plans, with the Conservatives promising to provide access to an NHS dentist for a million more people with an emphasis on preventive care.
With the launch of the Steele pilots in the spring – and the introduction of PDS Plus contracts by some PCTs last April – Software of Excellence, along with other providers worked alongside the DoH to ensure their management systems incorporated relevant reporting capabilities and they are rightly watching the latest political moves with interest.
As part of their health manifesto, the Conservatives also made a commitment to scrap the Steele Pilots, while the Lib Dems argued that change to the contract demanded a piloting scheme although they fell short of coming out in direct support.
The DH has been working on the logistics of the pilot scheme since June 2009 and the next wave is due to start in the autumn, but whether the ideas they are piloting – (care pathways and quality, contract evaluation, business support, patient empowerment, finance and workforce development) will still be relevant under coalition plans is as yet unclear.
Brian Weatherly, managing director at Software of Excellence acknowledges that the current approach may be subject to change.
He says: ‘As a leading practice management software provider we are aware that reporting requirements may change as a result of new government pledges. We are committed to ensuring that via Exact, practices are able to manage their NHS claims, be these based on quantitative or qualitative measures or indeed a mixture of both and will continue to work hand in hand with the DoH to ensure a smooth transition whatever the demands.’
Software of Excellence has called on the new secretary of state Andrew Lansley to quickly share with the profession his plans and timetable for delivery.
Brian adds: ‘The desire for an NHS that meets the demands of patients by providing increased access needs with it a reporting system that is not burdensome on the day to day management of the practice and one which does not detract from the dentist’s ability to deliver quality care.’
For more information, contact Greg Clay, sales and marketing director with Software of Excellence at [email protected]