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Pilot extensions

Michael Watson gives his views in his latest blog on the findings of the dental pilots so far.

The Department of Health has announced that the 90 dental pilots will be extended until March 2015. It has also published a report from Professor Jimmy Steele from the evidence and learning group. Like most Government reports it is not an easy read. The detail in the report is impressive; it does not, however, answer two questions: how do its findings relate to the realities of general dental practice and how does the extension of the pilots affect the introduction of a new contract?

To begin with the positives, evidence from the pilots is that patients and dentists continue to like the concept of a pathway. Risks are being managed and routine treatment is being provided. Oral health is, on the whole, benefiting, although there are variations across the pilots.

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