NHS contract values up only 0.5% this year

Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, has decided to increase NHS contract values by only 0.5% this year. In a letter the CDO, Barry Cockcroft, says that it had already been announced that the pay element would be frozen for this year and next. In addition the expenses part would be subject to a 4% improvement in ‘efficiency and productivity’. The BDA has said that the ‘uplift’ is really a pay cut.

In his letter the CDO says there will be two changes introduced this year: ‘Existing contract values will be increased by 0.5% backdated to 1 April and dentists will be expected to offer all patients best practice, preventive advice and treatment as set out in the Delivering Better Oral Health evidence toolkit and indicate on the FP17 form, or its equivalent electronic version, that they have done this.’

He also pointed out that last year the Secretary of State indicated that the Doctors and Dentists Review Body would not be asked to make recommendations on dentists’ pay for the financial years 2011/12 and 2012/2013. The CDO continued: “The Secretary of State indicated that officials would discuss these issues with representatives of the profession adopting the formula approach to expenses that had previously been used by the Review Body. The Secretary of State also indicated that he expected the primary care sector to deliver the same 4% improvement in efficiency and productivity that was required from the rest of the NHS. The Department has been discussing with the British Dental Association proposals aimed at meeting the remit set by the Secretary of State.”

John Milne, Chair of the BDA’s General Dental Practice Committee, said:

“The level of this uplift is simply not enough. Dentists across England are working really hard, through a period of uncertainty, to deliver high quality care to their patients. They are contending with a growing mountain of pointless bureaucracy and escalating costs on top of the effects of the efficiency savings imposed last year. They need help to address those problems.

“While we support this prevention-focused activity to improve young people’s oral health, the costs of providing the extra fluoride varnish to children have not been recognised by this uplift. The NHS rightly seeks to improve the quality of dental services and to increase the emphasis on disease prevention, but this cannot be done in an environment where not only are dentists incomes frozen, but the continued failure to reimburse expenses puts practices under severe financial pressure.”

The CDO’s letter can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/6fyya8y

You need to be logged in to leave comments.