NHS dental contractSeb Evans discusses the results from the latest Dentistry.co.uk poll about whether the potential new NHS contract is affecting dental practices.

You may be fed up of hearing about when the new NHS dental contract is coming, what will be included and what will be dropped.

Sara Hurley has toured the country discussing how the prototype contracts are going and what the future of NHS dentistry might look like.

Despite this, the latest Dentistry.co.uk poll shows that the delay in delivering a new NHS dental contract is affecting 65% of practices.

NHS dentistry

So why is it all taking so long?

There are a number of associations involved, including the NHS, the BDA and the Department of Health, all sat around the table discussing the best ways to provide NHS dentistry and remunerate practitioners.

The contract is currently in the prototype phase and has been since September 2016.

So when can we expect practices to start moving across to a new dental contract?

The expectation is around March 2018 at the moment, but that doesn’t necessarily mean every practice will get a new NHS contract then, it will gradually be rolled out across the country.

New contract

Everybody involved obviously wants to make this new contract work.

But they all seem more interested in talking about it than making anything actually happen.

I’ve lost count of the number of conferences I have been to where somebody speaks about how well the pilots went or how they’re making the prototypes work.

The delay in rolling out a new contract is now affecting 65% of dental practices.

My concern is that despite March 2018 being spoken about as the date to start gradually rolling out the new contract, further ‘discussions’ will cause the date to be pushed back further.

By the end of September I’ll be pushing to get some firm dates so we know when this contract will be rolled out.