BDA launches legal bid against NHS England over orthodontic contracts

Dental / Dental Practitioner News

The British Dental Association (BDA) is taking legal action against NHS England over claims that the latter's process of handing out orthodontic contracts is unfair.

Legal proceedings against NHS England have been initiated by the BDA over what the dental organisation describes as "potentially impossible" barriers to smaller contractors bidding for tenders for orthodontic services.

“The British Dental Association has launched a legal bid against NHS England to prevent smaller contractors from missing out on NHS orthodontic contracts.“

It has been argued that the tendering process, which covers orthodontic services in the south of England, is in breach of procurement, patient choice and competition regulations by failing to treat providers equally.

The BDA believes the Dynamic Purchasing System of procurement is weighted heavily in favour of larger dental companies, meaning smaller providers of orthodontic services will not be able to meet the eligibility criteria despite their high-quality credentials.

It was also argued that NHS England has acted unlawfully by failing to engage with patients or provide a robust needs assessment on changes that will radically impact on services.

Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen, chair of the BDA's general dental practice, said: "We will not let NHS England load the dice in favour of larger providers and jeopardise the livelihoods of hundreds of our members."

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