BDA launches UDA Checker to show average rates across England

Man checking UDA ratesThe BDA has launched a ‘UDA Checker’, so dentists can check the Unit of Dental Activity values in their area.

It claims the checker gets information from publicly available data from the NHS Business Services Authority.

The association claims the tool, which is available to BDA members, enables members to:

  • Check important information about their contract and contracts in their area
  • Easily compare contracts to other similar contracts in a postcode and NHS area
  • Access key information when negotiating a personal UDA rate or dealing with NHS commissioners on issues around contract delivery, UDA values, and recruitment and retention.

‘We’ve set out to create a tool for all GDPs,’ chair of the BDA’s General Dental Practice Committee, Dave Cottam, said.

‘For the associate who needs to know the parameters when negotiating on UDA values.

‘For the owner who needs better information in difficult conversations with commissioners.

‘The UDA is a broken system.

‘But for as long as it remains common currency we believe all dentists should know the facts, and where they stand.

‘Sunlight is the best medicine.

‘We’re putting information tucked away on government websites into the hands of members.’

Minimum UDA value

Last year dentists unanimously call for a minimum UDA value of £25 at the Local Dental Committees’ (LDC) annual conference.

Welsh colleagues in the contract reform pilots are already receiving this rate and their counterparts in England were seeking parity.

The slow pace of contract reform also came up at the conference.

‘NHS dentists will always do everything necessary to provide safe care for their patients,’ a BDA spokesperson told Dentistry.co.uk.

‘But with UDA rates lower than £25, it’s hard to see how providers can achieve this, without paying for it out of their own pockets.’

Dental charges

Concerns over the escalation of dental charges in England, relative to Wales, were also raised.

Delegates voiced worries that these charges were masking cuts in state funding.

There was unanimous support calling on the National Audit Office to investigate the disproportionate rise in charges in England.

‘Dental charges remain an important contribution to the overall cost of the NHS budget,’ Steve Brine, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health and Primary Care, said earlier last year.