The Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England has opened calls for practices interested in the next wave of NHS prototypes.
This will be the fourth wave of NHS contract reform in England, after prototype regulations were extended for a further two years.
The British Dental Association (BDA) has responded by expressing its frustration over the pace of change, after committing itself to the reform process.
‘We also believe that the absence of any change in the prototype model for the fourth wave is a wasted opportunity,’ BDA chair of General Dental Practice, Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen, said.
‘The clinical pathway being tested across the programme has been widely welcomed and supported by both patients and clinicians.
‘However, the prototype business model has not operated consistently with the same degree of success.
‘Some practices, including those coming direct from the UDA system in the third wave, have struggled to achieve contractual targets without additional investment and, like GDS practices, face clawback.’
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Enormous debt of gratitude
It claims that the aim of this new wave of prototypes is ‘to increase the overall learning while simultaneously focusing on the practical learning that will be gained to manage any subsequent rollout effectively’.
‘The profession continues to owe an enormous debt of gratitude to those practices that have taken part so far in the pilot and prototype process, and those considering participation in the fourth wave,’ Henrik continued.
‘We need to continue to test the prototype system, but practices considering involvement in the fourth wave will clearly need to reflect on the potential business impact.
‘Practices will want to look at their prospective patient number and activity targets, and also consider which prototype blend would best suit them.
‘There should be an open dialogue about whether blend A or blend B is better for the practice.
‘We remain of the view that a higher capitation payment element is the best way forward.’