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Bureaucracy puts off many dentists

20th March 2008

Dentist Ogoamaka Eze examines why she believes many of her colleagues are deserting the NHS.

dentaltoolsQ

After buying a new dental practice with the intention of introducing NHS dentistry, I was amazed to be told by the primary care trust that I could not do this as there was not enough funding available.

This would not even have been available when the contacts were up for review in 2009 because nay available funding would be redistributed among existing NHS dental practices. I was told that I was wasting time.

We have 15-20 patients call every week asking if we do NHS and we have to turn them away.

Chief dental officer Barry Cockroft told the Westminster Health Forum last November “just direct them to the nearest NHS practice.�

But why should I have to send a patient away, as there is a demand there that needs to be met.

The new system of practice dentists have been forced into does not work well and defies all logic. The emphasis on patient care has been lost.

Grouping all fillings – whether one of 20 – on the same fee scale is “shockingly bad practice� so why not revert back to the old system. An alternative could be to introduce bands that better reflect the treatment given.

Changes – that put patients and ahead of bureaucracy – have to be made to ensure new dentists have the confident to work in the public sector. Unless this government changes the system more dentists will leave the NHS and more patients will go private.

 

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