- Published: Monday, 30 July 2018 07:36
- Written by News Editor
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The Department of Health and Social Care has announced that up to 50 practices in England will be selected to join the 73 currently testing the prototype contracts. They claim that the dental care approach to be expanded after trial reduces tooth decay. They also say the new practices will be joining a ‘scheme for prevention-focused dental care following successful results where it has been tested’.
The Department claims that the new system incentivises dentists to offer full oral health assessments and self-care plans on top of traditional treatments. The recently published evaluation report from the first year of testing recommended that a further group of dental practices should be recruited into the programme.
The new practices are currently being selected and will join from October 2018 and January 2019. The existing 73 practices are continuing to test the new approach, with a new remuneration system added which supports dentists carrying out preventative work. The Department also says the scheme could be rolled out nationally from April 2020 ‘if it can be shown to benefit patients, the NHS and dental practice following a thorough evaluation’.
Health Minister Steve Brine said: “The government has made great progress in improving the oral health of patients and tooth decay among children continues to decrease ‒ but there is more we can do. Our new proposed NHS dental contract focuses on prevention and quality of care and will be thoroughly tested to ensure it is financially sustainable for the NHS, patients and dentists.”
Chief Dental Officer Sarah Hurley said: “The announcement of up to 50 more prototype practices is an important step in developing the NHS dental service in this its 70th year. I welcome it and hope that further refinement and testing with the profession will lead us to a model that enables dentists and their teams to play their full part in the delivery of integrated care and further improvement of oral and general health.”
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