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Orthodontic GDS contract changes: have you been contacted by your Area Team?

22 November 2019

The BDA is concerned about reports that some Area Teams in England have been writing to orthodontists who hold GDS contracts stating that they must meet the requirements of the NHS England Guide for Commissioning Dental Specialities - Orthodontics or else have the UOA element of their contract removed or converted to UDAs.

Our advice is that GDS contracts are ongoing agreements without an end date. The Regulations do not allow for NHS England to terminate or change the orthodontic element of a contract for policy reasons, without the agreement of the relevant contractor.

We are concerned that Area Teams appear to be insisting that current contractors meet the terms of the Orthodontic Guide – we believe this guide is relevant to newly procured contracts only, and not existing contracts.

We advise any BDA members to get in touch with our advice team, if they have been contacted by their Area Team, for further information and so we are aware how many providers are being affected by this.

We also advise all dental contract holders to ensure they fully understand the contents of any letter or proposed variation notice, and the wider implications of any changes proposed, and to seek professional advice.


If you are not currently a BDA member, please join us to ensure you get specialist support and advice. 

We are raising this issue with NHS England, and we will urge them to adhere to the wording of the standard GDS contract, and to not mislead contract holders into changing their terms without full transparency. 

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