MP wants online search for NHS dental prices

Patients should be able to search online for NHS dentistry prices as some 'unscrupulous' dentists are still not displaying charges, it has been claimed.

Baroness Gardner of Parkes said patients are still experiencing problems with pricing for procedures.

Speaking in a House of Lords debate on NHS public information and advice, she suggested the setting up an online application, with a simple form to fill in would allow patients to know what they would pay before they attended. This would end the argument over whether a notice was being displayed.

Health minister Lord Howe said: 'Many dentists are good at conforming to the terms of their contract, which means making it clear to patients what it will cost them to have a particular course of NHS treatment.

'Other dentists, I am afraid to say, are less scrupulous. It is part of the contractual arrangement that dentists should be open on that score and it is an area to which we are currently devoting a good deal of attention.'

A spokesperson for the BDA said: 'It is a condition of NHS dental contracts in England that practices display information about treatment costs and exemptions that has been supplied to them by their primary care
trust prominently.

'PCTs must ensure the information is supplied to practices and practices must fulfil their obligation to ensure patients can see it. Doing so is part of the clear communication that should take place between patient and practitioner and which contributes to the long-term relationships that optimise the delivery of effective care.'

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