Magazine article Public Finance

Dental Reforms Have Failed to Improve Services, Say MPs

Magazine article Public Finance

Dental Reforms Have Failed to Improve Services, Say MPs

Article excerpt

Radical changes to the way NHS dentists are paid have failed to improve access and quality of care, the Commons health select committee has said.

Its report on the 2006 dental reforms blames a failure to pilot the changes, a lack of primary care trust commissioning skills and the absence of local needs assessments.

The report, described by one committee MP as 'fairly condemnatory', recommends the reinstatement of patient registration and the introduction of a reward system for dentists to encourage preventative care.

Committee chair Kevin Barron said: 'While we readily accept that in some areas of the country provision of NHS dentistry is good, overall provision is patchy.

'Fewer patients are visiting an NHS dentist than before the contracts were introduced in April 2006; we heard little evidence that preventative care has increased; and patients seem less likely to receive complex treatments they might require within the NHS. …

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