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​ADG and BDA: Pull the plug on ortho tendering

3 February 2020

The BDA and Association of Dental Groups (ADG) have urged NHS England to suspend all active procurement for orthodontic services.

The two groups have expressed no confidence in the tendering exercises, following the chaotic collapse of the process covering NHS orthodontics in the Midlands and East, stating that any continuation will jeopardise patient care and the stability of the service.

The process to decide on decade-long contracts, worth over £65 million, was suspended in December after six chaotic months dogged by administrative failings that had forced the reopening of tenders. The national process has prompted multiple legal challenges and, in the North, at least six separate legal actions.

In an open letter to NHS England, both Associations have relayed their members' serious concerns on procurement. In sharp focus has been failures on consistency, transparency and equal treatment in relation to marking of bids, where the standards fell far below the requirements of law and good procurement practice.

While NHS England has pledged a 'lessons learned' exercise, the ADG and BDA have demanded that procurements - where contracts have not yet been awarded and entered into - must continue to be suspended so that the flaws of these processes can be included within the scope of any review.

The BDA and ADG have previously called on Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock to halt all future procurements and to outline plans to compensate individual providers who have been left up to £30,000 out of pocket.


Meeting of the Combined Orthodontic MCNs Midlands and East

An independent meeting will be taking place for dentists affected to discuss the abandoned NHS England Orthodontic Procurement and options for the profession, on Saturday 8 February 2020, at the Jury's Hinckley Island Hotel, Hinckley, more details online.