Orthodontists fight ‘rations’
 

Dental News
Article detail

See the following article detail about

Orthodontists fight ‘rations’

0845 527 9810

Article details for

Orthodontists fight ‘rations’

 

Orthodontists fight ‘rations’

Orthodontists nationwide are having to ‘ration’ treatment on patients as restrictions enforced by the new contract continue to cause problems.

This follows the news reported by Dentistry magazine in April that orthodontic care was already under threat because of the contract changes.

The situation has since worsened, with the British Orthodontic Society (BOS) predicting that waiting lists for specialist referrals will lengthen.

A recent BOS investigation has also said that the revised NHS contracts could put some new practices out of business. Chris Kettler, BOS executive secretary, said: ‘When patients are ready for treatment they are being assessed according to IOTN (the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need), and unless they meet the criteria of 3.6 or above, they are not eligible.’

Meanwhile, concerned patients are flooding the BOS with calls. Dr Kettler said: ‘We are advising patients that the rules have changed, and those who did not meet the criteria and still wanted treatment would have to consider the private option.’ But despite this, he is still encouraging dentists to continue to refer patients for an orthodontic assessment, as many orthodontists prefer to do initial screenings on patients from the age of eight.

He said: ‘Patients who had been on review think they remain eligible for treatment, but this is not necessarily the case. However, patients who have been accepted for treatment and are on a treatment waiting list are eligible, and every patient is entitled to an orthodontic assessment by a specialist.’

The new orthodontic contracts have been based on workloads during a reference period in 2005. With orthodontic work taking around two years, payments during this reference period covered work starting as far back as 2003. Many practices have since expanded their service at the request of their local health trust, but orthodontists say that this increase in work was not taken into account.

The result is that practices all over the country have had to cut their case load. In Shropshire, orthodontist Colin Purkis has had to reduce the number of children he sees by half after his practice was encouraged to expand because Shropshire is recognised as an area of high need.

‘We’re frustrated sitting here wanting to do work, and able to do the work,’ he said. ‘We can increase our work level back to 400 children a year, but we’re stuck at 200 a year and we can’t do any more.’

The Department of Health (DoH) acknowledges that some orthodontic practices have expanded since the reference period for working out contract levels. It adds that it remains up to local Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) to decide whether to fund all these cases.

But Purkis is angry with the response. He said that the local PCT cannot afford it when it has so many conflicting priorities for its limited funding. He believes the government should change the contract values, not shift responsibility to a local level. Like many orthodontists, Mr Purkis only signed his contract in dispute and has been unable to increase his funding.

His PCT is now waiting to hear back from the litigation authority. ‘If this doesn’t increase the value of my contract, I am willing to take the DoH to court,’ he warned. Mr Purkis said that there was a statutory document stating that an increase in workload should be taken into account.

Dr Kettler said: ‘The NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) is simply making sure that PCTs are following the Department of Health guidelines.

‘Whether the guidance is appropriate or the rules are fair does not concern the NHSLA – all they are interested in is checking that the PCTs are complying with the contract guidance.’ He added that BOS representatives have had two meetings with the DoH, with another scheduled this month to address problems such as the inadequate funding.

For example, practices with a low contract value are unable to fund the complete treatment and retention for those patients who were in treatment on 1 April earlier this year.

Dr Kettler concluded: ‘The BOS will continue to negotiate with the DoH to support these practices. We are also doing what we can to encourage all our members to build their private practices.’

 Posted on : Thu 31st - Aug - 2006

 

Call Dental Support UK

Premium IT Support

  • All Servers & workstations covered..
  • Saturday Cover INCLUDED.
  • Telephone support.
  • Remote support.
  • 4 hour on-site Server response.
  • System monitoring.
  • Network monitoring and security.
  • Anti-Virus & Application updates.
  • Unlimited Remote Server Data backup.
  • Loan equipment on hardware failure.
  • Reduced rates for PC parts supply & installations.

No matter how big
your practice you
pay the same
price!!


ONLY

Click here for more info
Dental News Archives 2018

August - 2018
July - 2018
June - 2018
May - 2018
April - 2018
March - 2018
February - 2018
January - 2018

Dental News Archives 2017

December - 2017
November - 2017
October - 2017
September - 2017
August - 2017
July - 2017
June - 2017
May - 2017
April - 2017
March - 2017
February - 2017
January - 2017

Dental News Archives 2016

December - 2016
November - 2016
October - 2016
September - 2016
August - 2016
July - 2016
June - 2016
May - 2016
April - 2016
March - 2016
February - 2016
January - 2016

Dental News Archives 2015

December - 2015
November - 2015
October - 2015
September - 2015
August - 2015
July - 2015
June - 2015
May - 2015
April - 2015
March - 2015
February - 2015
January - 2015

Dental News Archives 2014

December - 2014
November - 2014
October - 2014
September - 2014
August - 2014
July - 2014
June - 2014
May - 2014
April - 2014
March - 2014
February - 2014
January - 2014

Dental News Archives 2013

December - 2013
November - 2013
October - 2013
September - 2013
August - 2013
July - 2013
June - 2013
May - 2013
April - 2013
March - 2013
February - 2013
January - 2013

Dental News Archives 2012

December - 2012
November - 2012
October - 2012
September - 2012
August - 2012
July - 2012
June - 2012
May - 2012
April - 2012
March - 2012
February - 2012
January - 2012

Dental News Archives 2011

January - 2011
February - 2011
March - 2011
April - 2011
May - 2011
June - 2011
July - 2011
August - 2011
September - 2011
October - 2011
November - 2011
December - 2011

Dental News Archives 2010

December - 2010
November - 2010
October - 2010
September - 2010
August - 2010
July - 2010
June - 2010
May - 2010
April - 2010
March - 2010
February - 2010
January - 2010

Dental News Archives 2009

December - 2009
November - 2009
October - 2009
September - 2009
August - 2009
July - 2009
June - 2009
May - 2009
April - 2009
March - 2009
February - 2009
January - 2009

Dental News Archives 2008

December - 2008
November - 2008
October - 2008
September - 2008
August - 2008
July - 2008
June - 2008
May - 2008
April - 2008
March - 2008
February - 2008
January - 2008

Dental News Archives 2007

December - 2007
November - 2007
October - 2007
September - 2007
August - 2007
July - 2007
June - 2007
May - 2007
April - 2007
March - 2007
February - 2007
January - 2007

Dental News Archives 2006

December - 2006
November - 2006
October - 2006
September - 2006
August - 2006
July - 2006
June - 2006
May - 2006
April - 2006
March - 2006
February - 2006
January - 2006

Dental News Archives 2005

December - 2005
November - 2005
October - 2005
September - 2005
August - 2005
July - 2005
June - 2005
May - 2005

hide toolbar
Would you like weekly updates on our latest offers? If so enter your email :
Quick Remote Dental Support