Countdown to the new contract
 

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Countdown to the new contract

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Countdown to the new contract

 

Countdown to the new contract

With only four weeks to go to the final date before the new GDS contract must be signed, this is a busy time for dentists.
Many have signed a new contract or are ready to sign; many are still going through the interim stages.
PCTs were given a deadline of 28 February to prepare and present dentists with their new contracts ready for signing. But Dentistry magazine has heard that the majority of PCTs have missed this deadline.

That should be no great surprise, as it is widely accepted that PCTs are very new at working with dentists, understanding dentistry and negotiating sensitive contracts. But some of the reports coming back from around the country, if they are to be believed, are frankly outrageous.

The individuals will remain nameless, as this title is read by a number of PCTs and our colleagues are still in heated negotiations. I have heard of flat rates being presented for some UDAs. It has already been widely reported that PCTs have been reducing contract values (which I believe is now illegal) and offering UDA values even lower than the ‘discredited’ DPB figures. This is appalling.

But I could grumble on for hours about the introduction of this new contract so, since I only have 350 words, I’ll end with this:

• The time scale for introduction of this complex and radically new way of working is far too short. There is no time for anything other than blind and ignorant signing of the new contract. There is no proper time for pre-contract negotiations, paperwork or arbitration

•No one should sign the contract without taking legal advice. The BDA is there and must be used, as a minimum! Ideally the LDC and independent legal advice should also be sought.

Dentists have a position of power and this should be exploited. The PCT would not hesitate to do the same. Personally, I can only be certain I’ve negotiated the best deal for me, when I actually walk away from negotiations, and the other party calls me back! Do not enter into this new way of working lightly. As Uncle Ben of Spiderman fame once said: ‘With great power, comes great responsibility.’ Remember you are negotiating for yourself, your team and your community for three years. That’s a long time in business.

Got an opinion on this comment? Write or email your views to us at: newsdesk@dentistry.co.uk

 Posted on : Sun 26th - Feb - 2006

 

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