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​Steele on contract reform: Type B prototypes closest to my original vision

8 May 2015

In a session held today at the British Dental Association conference in Manchester three of the authors of the 2009 "Independent Review of the NHS Dentistry in England" examined the progress of contract reform over the past six years. 
The 2009 review proposed a blended contract for primary care services where there was a mix between capitation, activity and quality payments and this was linked to a clear patient pathway based on risk and prevention. Since then the profession has seen capitation and quality based pilots and there is now a move to prototype contracts which include activity in the blend.

Professor Jimmy Steele, Dr Janet Clarke and Dr Eric Rooney discussed the background to the 2009 review, the approach they took and what the review recommended and then mapped that to the current move from pilot contracts to prototypes.

Professor Steele said:

"It has been an interesting process and considerable progress has been made, albeit more slowly than we and many others might have anticipated.

"I think we are now broadly happy with the concept and operation of the pathways and risk evaluation though there are still a few things to iron out.
"The development of viable prototypes is now a very important step. There are two models and it is fair to say that the type B prototypes, where disease prevention and management are grouped together under capitation, are probably closest to the approach that we had envisaged.
"It means that it is in both the dentists’ and patients’ interests to reduce the amount of routine treatment. It also makes sense that the more complex rehabilitation treatments are part of an activity payments as they are in both models."

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.