CDO issues electronic Update

The Chief Dental Officer for England, Barry Cockcroft, has issued his first all-electronic update (there will not be a paper version in future). The edition contains news on the Government’s reforms as well as other items of topical news.


The CDO’s foreword

Welcome to this first electronic-only version of CDO Update at what promises to be a year full of new developments in dentistry.

First of all, may I say thank you for taking the trouble to access this new format of the Update. One of the principles of the coalition government’s approach to information is that it should be provided as efficiently and economically as possible, as well as being targeted at an audience that is receptive to in the information provided. There can be no better way to meet all these criteria than by going electronic.

As ever, this issue is packed with much information of topical interest to dentists.

Although contract reform tends to focus on rather short or medium term issues, we must never lose sight of the long term - and the preliminary findings of the recently published Adult Dental Health Survey (ADHS) show that we have much to do- not only in terms of contract reform, to make our dental service and workforce fit for purpose for the future.

I am aware that the guidance on decontamination in primary care has been the source of much discussion but the findings of the recent survey show that 70% of primary care practices were already at Essential Quality Requirements (EQR) level when the guidance was published. Approximately 20% were so close that it only required minor adjustments to processes and procedures for them to completely comply. These data were quite reassuring but the fact that 10% were deemed to still have a long way to go was also worrying.

The registration of primary dental care with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), on which you will find more on p12 of this issue, has also been contentious. But, reflecting on the 10% of non-compliant practices, as indicated by the survey, this surely demonstrates the need for an independent organisation to proactively tackle areas where the quality of service provided is clearly not acceptable.

In this issue you will also find articles about the programme of pilots setting out to trial alternative methods of remunerating dentists.

Finally, following the publication of the government public health white paper Healthy lives, healthy people, we are now seeing more details emerge of the overall structure proposed for the NHS, and also how it is intending to take forward commissioning all dental services.

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