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New intermediate funding arrangements for NHS dentistry

NHS dental practices received a letter from the Minister for Public Health and Sport this week outlining the Scottish Government's intermediate support funding arrangements for NHS dental services in the 2021/2022 financial year.

Letter from the Minister for Public Health and Sport

This comes after we wrote to the Minister last week to highlight our concerns regarding sustainable financial support for dental practices in Scotland.

In her letter, the Minister acknowledges that the COVID financial support measures that were put in place in March 2020 as an emergency response to the pandemic were not intended to be a long-term solution and now need to be updated. We were pleased to see her say the Scottish Government aims to develop a medium-term funding model before introducing a whole-system reform/New Model of Care in the future. This is essential if dental care is to be provided sustainably into the future, and we will be involved in the development of the intermediate financial arrangements.

In the short term, it should be noted that the introduction of tiered financial support, which was due to be implemented this month, has been pushed back due to the current lockdown. We have been discussing appropriate activity measurement with the Scottish Government. The Government is also undertaking survey work to inform policy on ventilation. We believe that more details will be provided by the Chief Dental Officer in the summer.

We will continue to campaign on your behalf and update you as soon as we have more information.