Published: Tuesday, 05 July 2011 21:45
Written by Tony Jacobs
Pilots of a new dental contract based on capitation are proving successful, but more time is needed to evaluate how they can effectively replace the current UDA system, delegates from across the dentistry sector heard today.
Speaking in central London on Tuesday July 5th at a seminar of the Westminster Health Forum, which seeks to unite the views of practitioners with those of policymakers, Dr Susie Sanderson, chair of the BDA’s executive board, said the biggest challenge for the new contract was finding a way to improve oral health and patient confidence, and deliver prevention, while eliminating perverse incentives,
writes Jonathan Gilbert, GDPUK's special correspondent.
The UDA system came under fierce criticism from Dr John Milne, chair of the BDA’s General Dental Practice Committee, who said that target-driven contracts have created a “moral hazard” for dentists under extreme pressure to treat patients in order to guarantee their income.
Dr Milne said the ‘drill and fill treadmill’ that was encouraged by the item of service system has not been eradicated by UDAs, which he called “corrupted and malign”.
“The current contract puts targets ahead of health,” he said, adding that, since the system was not properly piloted, a relationship of mistrust has developed between the profession and the Department of Health.
Read more: Health Forum hears strong criticisms and concerns for future contracting