BDA commences proceedings against NHS England

The BDA has started proceedings against NHS England for the tendering process relating to 1/2 billion of dental contracts and in particular relating to the orthodontic services in south England.

The BDA state that the tender process was in breach of the Procurement, Patient Choice and Competence (PPCC) Regulations and in particular Regulation 3(2)(b) by failing to "treat providers equally".

The BDA contend that the method of the tendering process balances the scales in favour of larger corporate providers or dental consortiums than to individual small providers, leaving such smaller providers disadvantaged in the tendering process.

The BDA also maintain that the proposals to make changes in locations of where NHS orthodontic NHS services are provided will also have a significant effect on children in terms of accessing such services.

It will be interesting to watch the outcome of this case bearing in mind that it may have a significant impact on the tendering process for the upcoming orthodontic contracts.

NHS dental patient charges rise

From 1st April patient charges are to increase:

  • Band 1 courses of treatment and urgent care increases to 20.96 up by 90p;
  • Band 2 courses of treatment will increase to 56.30 up by 2.40; and
  • Band 3 courses of treatment will increase to 244.30 up by 10.60

What do the courses cover? Band 1 covers check -ups, x-rays and moulds of your teeth, Band 2 covers root canals, fillings and removal of teeth whilst Band 3 covers complicated treatments including veneers, crowns and dentures.

CQC drops its fees for dental practices

Whilst other health and social care service providers face an increase in the CQC registration fees for the upcoming year the CQC has announced that it will be dropping its registration fees by 113 for a single location dental practice with four chairs to 887 a year. This is great news for single practice owners in these financially challenging times.

GDC shifting the balance stakeholder meetings

The GDC has been carrying out a series of discussions with stakeholders in the UK on their `Shifting the balance a better fairer system of regulation'.

The discussions consist of the GDC proposals on placing greater emphasis on supporting and empowering the profession and focusing on prevention of harm including suggestions on which first tier complaints are handled.

The series continues with the final roundtable in Wales on 11 April.

To find out more please see link below

HPV action views on vaccination

HPV Action is requesting dental professionals to take part in their short and confidential survey.

Increased evidence shows the oral cancer could be caused by human papilloma virus (HPV). Currently girls aged 12-13 receive HPV vaccinations, The Government proposals to extend this to boys will be discussed in June 2017.

To participate in the survey please visit the link below; responses must be received by 13 April 2017

1% pay rise for dentists

NHS England has announced a pay increase of 1% for 2017/18 for dentist after a recommendation from the Review Body on Doctors and Dentist Remuneration (DDRB) for NHS dental professionals.

The pay increase has been met with disappointment by the BDA on the basis that it fails to address the issue of a drop of 35% in earnings over the last 10 years.

CQC new approach to inspections

The CQC has stated that it plans to inspect 10% of England's 10,000 dental practices.

The CQC are approaching the dental practice inspections with specially trained dental inspectors together with a specialist adviser who is usually a qualified dentist or dental care professional.

The CQC regularly publishes reports on the quality of care provided by dental practices under its new approach.