Dentists switch to new pay system12th April 2011
The government has said that dentists working in England will be paid for the standard of the treatment they provide, rather than how much work they carry out.
The new pilot payment scheme will begin this summer, according to the government.
It is trialling a new type of dental contract - which has been designed as a replacement for the contract which started under the Labour government in 2006 - in 62 dental practices in England.
Under the old system, dentists are paid for a pre-determined number of NHS treatments. The new system will see dentists paid per patient, not per treatment.
The government is keen to leave behind the quantity-based approach of the old contract and move towards providing better treatment for patients.
It also intends to bring back the right of a patient to be registered with a dentist, which was scrapped in 2006.
Health service data showed that over one million less patients went to see NHS dentists in the two years following the 2006 contract, compared to the two years prior to its introduction.
If the pilots are a success, the new contracts will be brought in in April 2014, following approval by Parliament.
Health Minister Lord Howe said: "This approach is not only better for patients, but also a better use of NHS resources. It is important that we take our time to get this absolutely right."
"We want our reforms to give dentists the encouragement they are looking for to provide a service that meets the needs of today's population, and which fosters positive habits from an early age."
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Title: Dentists switch to new pay system
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 18202
Date Added: 12th Apr 2011