An exercise to recover money allegedly paid to dental practices because of bureaucratic errors by the Scottish Government should be postponed because the data on which it is based appears to be seriously flawed.
The concerns are based on errors in the data upon which the exercise is to be based, concerns about the shifting parameters and methodology of the exercise and its refusal to protect the relatives of deceased practitioners from it.
The British Dental Association (BDA) has made the warning and written to the Scottish Government to highlight the concerns.
Pat Kilpatrick, director of BDA Scotland, said: ‘The Scottish Government has imposed a registration system against the profession’s advice and it has hit problems. We have now learned that it intends to press ahead despite clear flaws in its data thereby likely creating further issues. Its refusal to exclude deceased practitioners from the recovery exercise, meaning their widows and widowers may be harassed, serves only to compound an impression that this is an ill-considered endeavour.
‘The Scottish Government has done much that is positive to develop dental care in recent years, improving access for patients and developing the widely-respected Childsmile scheme for instance, but here it risks a shameful blight on its record.
‘We urge it to take the time necessary to address issues with the data before attempting to progress the exercise which, we should not forget, is necessary to address problems of its own making.’
The BDA believe the exercise has the potential to destabilise some dental practices, harming the provision of patient care.