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a blog by Chris Barrow

"1 in 10 face the cliff edge"

I've no doubt that the Business Confidence Forum this Thursday evening (20:00) will herald in the Easter weekend with a lively conversation on the new NHSE fulfilment levels for the first 6 months of the new contract year.

Even as I write this, dental accountant Alan Suggett will be busily altering his famous "pop-up" to adapt his 36% cliff edge graphic to the new rules.

For those delivering NHS general dentistry and orthodontics, there will be some rapid recalculations taking place as to how best to achieve the revised 60% (80%) minimum requirements.

Perhaps it will be worth reminding your clinicians that the 60% (80%) is NOT a target - it's a minimum - so as to deter those who have been popping home on full pay as soon as the minimum is achieved.

Possibly the more significant content in the yesterday's Skipton House letter is the commitment to contract reform (after all, it has only taken 10 years so far) with a declaration that contract changes must:

  1. Be designed with the support of the profession;

  2. Improve oral health outcomes (or, where sufficient data are not yet available, credibly be on track to do so);

  3. Increase incentives to undertake preventive dentistry, prioritise evidence- based care for patients with the most needs and reduce incentives to deliver care that is of low clinical value;

  4. Improve patient access to NHS care, with a specific focus on addressing inequalities, particularly deprivation and ethnicity;

  5. Demonstrate that patients are not having to pay privately for dental care that was previously commissioned NHS dental care;

  6. Be affordable within NHS resources made available by Government, including taking account of dental charge income.

Prestidigitation methinks - we shall see.

The BDA certainly didn't seem very happy with the new rules and predicted some casualties as indicated in the title of this post.

For now - another moment of uncertainty passes and the profession is asked to knuckle down and get things done.

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