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Dentists in brief…

Posted by Lotty Reeves on 22nd April 2015

Dental reforms to be trialled

Proposed reforms to primary care dentistry will be tested by using selected dental practices as prototypes, the Department of Health has announced.

The proposed reforms involve an increased focus on assessment and preventative care as well as treatment, with greater emphasis on monitoring and rewarding the quality of care provided by practices. Individual elements of the proposed reforms began being tested in pilot schemes in 2011, and a consultation on the proposals was carried out in summer 2014. The process of trialling the prototypes will begin in autumn 2015.

Pilot scheme to test dentist complaints process

The General Dental Council (GDC) has launched a pilot scheme to explore potential changes to the complaints system for dentists’ performance. At present, the NHS and GDC are both able to take action if a complaint is made about a dentist. The pilot scheme will test a new system, whereby the GDC would only handle cases involving dentists’ fitness to practice, while the NHS would handle other performance management issues. This approach will allow the GDC to focus resources on cases where patients are most at risk, while less urgent cases would be handled at a local level. The pilot scheme began in January 2015 and will involve the GDC working with five NHS England Local Area Teams (LATs) over twelve months. The results of the pilot will be used to develop a new dental performance complaints procedure nationwide.

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