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Have your say: NHS dentistry in Scotland – is it working? Achi-News

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Have your say: NHS dentistry in Scotland – is it working?


Achi news desk-

Senior officers will come face to face with the dental profession as around 2,000 delegates gather in Glasgow for the annual Scottish Dental Show on May 31.

Tom Ferris, Chief Dental Officer (CDO), Gillian Leslie, Deputy CDO, and Elaine Hutchison, Professional Adviser on Dental Care to the Scottish Government will appear as part of the education programme.

They will provide an update on progress in implementing what the Government described at its launch as a “low-trust bureaucracy model” and will take questions from dental professionals.


Among the changes introduced was a significant reduction in the ‘service items’ – treatments, procedures and undertakings – for which NHS dentists receive payment, from more than 500 to 45.

Fees increased – for fillings, extractions, dentures, root canals and other common dental procedures – with the aim of making it more affordable for dental surgeries to provide these on an NHS basis.

It was hoped that NHS activity would increase as a result, reducing waiting lists, and making dental treatment even more accessible to patients on the NHS instead of having to go privately.

Routine inspections also changed. Instead of recalling them every six months, dentists can now choose how often a patient should have an NHS dental checkup based on their treatment needs. This can vary from less than six months, to once every two years.

The Government said the changes were designed to “empower dentists to use their clinical discretion and knowledge of best practice when providing care.”

He added: “Payment reform is also the first step towards a truly modern NHS dental service that properly assesses, responds to and supports the oral health needs of all patients in Scotland.”

At the time, the reform was welcomed by the Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

He said the previous item of service funding model “disproportionately emphasized treatment rather than prevention” and was being replaced by a “simpler approach”.

The Faculty added: “This will mean that general dental practitioners (GDPs) in Scotland will be paid to help prevent oral health problems as well as treat them, in a bid to tackle growing backlogs of waiting lists within the NHS.”

Today, the Herald is launching a reader survey to find out your experience of NHS dentistry post-pandemic and what impact – if any – these recent reforms have had on your access to NHS dental care and your experience of it.

As well as helping to highlight the patient experience, the results of the survey will also inform the session at the Scottish Dental Show on May 31.

The show is organized by Scottish Dental magazine who are in partnership with The Herald on our survey.

You can complete the survey, anonymously by clicking this link.


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