Nigel Jones reacts to the NHS dental contract changes

Dental

Practice Plan’s sales and marketing director, Nigel Jones, speaks on the NHS dental contract changes after its first significant change was announced recently, 16 years since its introduction.

He has stated that he feels the changes don’t go far enough and will do little to prohibit the flow of dentists leaving the NHS for the security of private practice. Although, he does acknowledge that without further funding, there was a limitation in the way of impactful change for the numerous NHS dentists which could have been attained.

“Practice Plan’s sales and marketing director, Nigel Jones, speaks on the NHS dental contract changes after its first significant change was announced recently, 16 years since its introduction.“

He welcomes the variations to UDA bands which seem to go some way towards identifying that, in the past, payment for more complex procedures has not mirrored the effort and time required from NHS dentists.

However, it can be argued that despite the minimum UDA value being welcomed, it yet again doesn’t go far enough. It fails to mirror the growing costs related to running a dental practice, the prices of salaries to recruit and retain associates and dental nurses, and the cost of materials that have been increasing steadily over the past two years. Demand for their skills exceeds supply, and the twenty-three-pound level will, in fact, advantage very few practices.

Jones says that although personalised recall interviews are good in theory, in practice, however, he fears they will be used to increase capacity rather than in the best interests of patients’ oral health. However, it could be a development that encourages patients who wish to have more regular check-ups to seek private dental care alternatively.

Jones states that any benefits from these developments will be marginal at best. They are a minimal step on the right path. However, they may not be enough to give confidence to NHS dentists.

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