The chief dental officer for England, Sara Hurley, has confirmed new targets will come into force for practices with NHS dental contracts.
From July 1, usual contracting arrangements will commence, meaning practices will be asked to hit 100% of activity.
This follows the easing of the IPC restrictions earlier this year.
On top of this, activity delivered by dental foundation trainees will no longer be accrued as practice activity as of 1 July 2022.
‘In preparation for the next phase of contract reform discussions we will undertake further focus groups with patients and the profession and would like to talk to as many of you as possible during these engagement sessions,’ the letter adds.
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Harder but necessary
The British Dental Association (BDA) say the new targets will offer ‘no flexibility’ to struggling practices.
Shawn Charlwood is chair of the association’s General Dental Practice Committee.
‘From 1 July NHS dentists have to pretend they’ve returned to “business as usual”. For thousands of struggling practices, nothing could be further from the truth,’ he said.
‘Imposing fanciful targets is easy for ministers. The harder but necessary path demands real reform and fair funding.’
The government is expected to introduce changes to the current contract before parliament’s summer recess. The BDA, however, expects the changes to be ‘modest’ and ‘marginal’. Formal negotiations are yet to begin.
The letter can be downloaded here.
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