The DoH rolls out the units
 

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The DoH rolls out the units

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The DoH rolls out the units

 

The DoH rolls out the units

Penny Palmer reports:

GDS Dentists are to receive their contract values this week said acting chief dental officer for England, Barry Cockcroft. The news, which came as Dentistry Magazine was going to press, follows the government’s earlier promise that it would stand by its commitment to reform dentistry on time and to target.

Said Dr Cockcroft: ‘This is a crucial part of the process and dentists will see what we’re guaranteeing, but if dentists walk away now they are in danger of losing the chance to negotiate their position with their PCTs.’

There are no surprises with this news continued Dr Cockcroft. ‘It includes all that we said it would; we are offering historical NHS earnings for a 5% reduction in weighted courses of treatment. There is a lot of uncertainty in the system currently, but this will help dentists see what we are really offering.’

PDS dentists are also to receive similar information via their PCTs, ‘very soon’, added Dr Cockcroft. ‘We’ve given some guarantees about these contracts rolling forward, and PDS dentists will be able to discuss the information with their PCTs in the same way.’

Dr Cockcroft said that the Department hopes dentists will agree contracts by 28 February 2006. This will ensure the Dental Practise Board (DPB) can make payments from April 1 next year. He said: The important thing is to have the contract by 31 March 2006, or there will be problems with cash flow. If someone can’t agree something, but wants to agree, they can still sign a contract with their PCT and vary it later.’ Dentists can give three months notice at anytime, added Dr Cockcroft, meaning they will not be bound by the contract.

Asked what his message was to hesitant dentists he said: ‘The contract values says clearly what is on offer, but if dentists are concerned they need to speak to someone who is already working under the new arrangements.’

Dr Mike Williams, GDP from North Cheshire, moved from GDS to PDS 12 months ago. He said: ‘This new way of working has for the first time in my 30 years of NHS dentistry given me and my practice financial stability with a guaranteed monthly income.

‘Putting it simply, I can now go on holiday without worrying how much faster I will have to work on my return to make up my lost income.’

On news regarding patient charges, Dr Cockcroft said that he expected a debate in both Houses of Parliament before Christmas. He said: ‘The revised draft of the regulations and a Statement of Financial Entitlement are now available, and can be acessed on the BDA’s website or on www.primarycarecontracting.nhs.uk.

 Posted on : Tue 6th - Dec - 2005

 

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