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​BDA response to launch of dental prototypes

The British Dental Association’s General Dental Practice Committee (GDPC) has responded to the Department of Health’s announcement that 62 pilot practices will move forward to become prototype practices for the reformed NHS contract in England. Further prototype practices are expected to be announced in due course.

The prototypes contain the discredited UDA (Unit of Dental Activity) activity measure as well as payments for capitation and quality. There will be two types of prototypes with varying UDA targets. The BDA’s view is that payment should be based on capitation only.

The BDA has now indicated it will be reaching out to all practices that have been involved in the pilot process to offer support and assistance, as they either move forward to the prototype system or revert to previous contracting arrangements.

Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen, Chair of the BDA’s General Dental Practice Committee, said:

“At last we seem to be moving forward on a reformed dental contract, but it is still too early to describe today’s launch as progress.

“The BDA believes that the two prototype options on offer are decidedly unambitious, as the Department has proved unwilling to make a clean break from discredited activity targets in the shape of the UDA system. Both NHS dentists and their patients deserve a contract with a square focus on prevention, and neither option being tested goes far enough in meeting that objective. 

“It is also vital that practices who took part in the contract pilots, but are not proceeding to prototypes, do not lose out. These practices volunteered in good faith, were given reassurances and have made a significant sacrifice on behalf of their colleagues. As they revert to the tarnished UDA system, it is important that they do not take a big financial hit.

“We will be reaching out to all the practices that have been involved in the process to date to ensure their voices are heard.”

About the BDA

The British Dental Association (BDA) is the professional association and trade union for dentists in the UK. It represents dentists working in general practice, in community and hospital settings, in academia and research, and in the armed forces, and includes dental students. The BDA promotes members’ interests, advances the science, arts and ethics of dentistry, and contributes towards improving the nation's oral health.

For further information, please contact the BDA's media team on 0207 563 4145/46 or visit the BDA's news centre. You can also follow news from the BDA on Twitter. Membership packages reflect the varied needs of dentists