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Seeking answers to Q1 targets

With the start of the new financial year fast approaching many of you are quite rightly asking about NHS contractual provisions in England from April.

We know that practices need time to plan for the new quarter - particularly if there are going to be any changes to the current provisions. We have repeatedly made this point to NHS England.

Shawn Charlwood, Chair of the General Dental Practice Committee, previously emailed members to update on our position, saying:

"It is immensely frustrating that once again we find ourselves this close to end of the quarter with no clear indication of what is coming next.

"The position that we continue to argue with NHS England is that Units of Dental Activity are fundamentally flawed and are not appropriate, particularly in current circumstances. The clinical focus is quite rightly on treating a backlog of NHS treatment and delivering urgent care. UDAs do not reward that care and a stretching UDA target simply focuses attention on routine treatment. That is not in the best interests of patients.

"The current 45% UDA target has been hugely challenging for many practices and as we move into 2021/22, in our view nothing has changed in terms of the most significant constraints on practices (including infection prevention and control measures) to enable them to deliver ever higher levels of treatment."

We are continuing to urge NHS England to clarify the position and will update you further when we can.