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Contract with teeth?

5th April 2006

A British Dental Association survey suggests that about 60% of those who signed the new NHS contract did so "in dispute" and will continue to contest the terms while providing NHS care - for the time being. One in 10 dentists has rejected the new NHS contract outright, and many more have registered objections,

The government argues the contract will help tackle the shortage of NHS care, but the BDA said it will create even more barriers to patients receiving treatment on the NHS.  

Under the new system, to be introduced in England and Wales, dentists are supposed to be given more time to carry out preventative work while the pricing system is being simplified. The BDA argues that the targets set out in the new contract are unachievable and will not lead to an improved standard of care for patients. The survey found 90% of respondents believe access to NHS dentistry will worsen.

The chair of the BDA's Executive Board, Dr Susie Sanderson, said that the survey reflects the high levels of anxiety and confusion that both patients and dentists are experiencing. She said it "highlights the uncertainty into which the government's reforms have plunged NHS dentistry."

Health minister Rosie Winterton countered that "the public have every reason to be confident in the future of NHS dentistry."


 

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