Dental :: NHS dental reforms yet to inspire trust of profession and promote access, says BDA

The most radical shake-up in NHS dentistry for over 50 years has failed to inspire confidence in the dental profession, nor has it improved access or encouraged a more preventive approach to dental care, according to the British Dental Association.

Commenting on the Department of Health?s report ? NHS Dental Reforms: One year on ? out today, the Chief Executive of British Dental Association, Peter Ward said:

?This first year report on the new untested contract for dentists justifies our concerns and will do little to rebuild trust with the profession. By the government?s own admission, we now have fewer NHS dentists and access to care for patients remains patchy. This is not a picture of success and confidence.

?The report recognises the importance of genuine local flexibility for patient care but this can only be achieved by moving away from the rigidity of this crude target-driven contract. The government must start listening to the profession and patients if local commissioning is to provide the services that local communities deserve.”

The BDA has repeatedly called on the Government to scrap the currency of the new contract ? the unit of dental activity (UDA) ? as the only way of measuring performance.

Peter Ward said:

?Contractual performance has to be monitored but UDAs are only a single and very crude method. We need a more sophisticated approach which is sensitive to the reality of delivering dental care to patients and which supports preventive care, rather than works against it.?

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