The prototype dental contract clinical model works but more needs to be done on the business model, Professor Rooney says.
In a document published by the Department of Health and Social Care, Dental Contract Reform – Evaluation of the first year of prototyping 2016-17, the deputy chief dental officer claims progress has been made in the first year of prototyping, including improving oral health, providing appropriate care and maintaining access.
Despite this, Professor Rooney claims adjustments need to be made to the business model to help improve sustainability for practices.
‘In moving forward, it is important to consider that it is possible to continue to develop and test an approach, looking to get the best contract for all parties, but to recognise that at some point a judgement call has to be made that the approach is “good enough” for scaling up,’ the document concludes.
‘It is a balance of risk for all parties and this point has not been reached yet.’
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NHS dentistry ‘fundamentally broken’
The British Dental Association (BDA) has agreed with the acknowledgement that the business model needs further examination.
This is the fourth wave of NHS contract reform in England, after prototype regulations were extended for a further two years.
‘The NHS dental system is fundamentally broken,’ BDAs chair of General Dental Practice, Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen, said.
‘This report underlines why it will take more than tinkering round the edges to avoid putting NHS dentistry out of business.
‘It makes many sensible recommendations for the reform process, the Government simply needs to pull its finger out and follow them through.
‘A new preventive model of care is making real headway, but when one in four cutting-edge practices cannot make the grade Ministers must go further.
‘We have practices working on their own time to make reform work, but we cannot expect goodwill or charity to form the foundation for our health service.’