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Dental Care Practitioners can open and close treatment courses

The BDA and the Chairs of the Welsh LDCs warmly welcome this news.

Chief Dental Officer, Professor Andrew Dickenson, has written to Local Health Boards and dental providers informing them that the FP17W recording system is now able to accommodate Dental Care Practitioners (DCPs) directly opening and closing courses of treatment within their scope of practice.

As an interim measure DCPs will need to include both their General Dental Council number and an appropriate performer number – the default suggestion is the contract holder’s – within the FP17W to ensure the claim is accepted. It is expected the system will be modified in future to accommodate a DCP’s unique identifying number which will streamline the process.

Prof. Dickenson goes on to say that in the future, DCPs may be able to prescribe certain medicines once the regulations are amended. The CDO also emphasises that this will be a process of development and recognises that supportive dialogue with contract holders together with enhanced education and training will ensure the maximum value from this arrangement.

The BDA and the Chairs of the Welsh LDCs warmly welcome this news. The letter clarifies a long-standing debate and provides a clear mechanism for dental teams to benefit from the improved data capture system.