Dentistry gets ‘personal’ in new report

Following the government’s decision to roll out Personal Health Budgets (PHBs), Denplan has sponsored a report undertaken by 2020 Health to find out what the impact of this would be for the public as well as the medical profession as a whole.
Denplan has sponsored ‘Personal Health Budgets – a revolution in personalisation’ as it addresses an innovative, patient-centred and potentially effective approach to care – the type of approach two dentists took to the provision of dental care, when they founded Denplan in 1986.
PHBs are based around a system whereby an amount of NHS money is given to an individual to help them manage their healthcare and wellbeing needs, instead of having to settle for a package from their GP or council. This report describes how patients make decisions normally made by a GP; what could happen to traditional services and asks whether NHS money should be spent on non-traditional equipment and activities.
At the report launch in London last week, dozens of health professionals gathered to discuss the topic, including Norman Lamb MP, Minister for Care and Support.

At the launch he raised the importance of a preventive approach to healthcare.

He said: 'I’m a great advocate of the NHS, but it’s critical to recognise that if it needs to be sustainable looking ahead we have to do things differently. One of those big shifts is from talking about repair to prevention. We don’t spend nearly enough on prevention for patients.'
PHBs is a system very similar in principle to the capitation-based model that Denplan has pioneered since the 1980s, whereby individuals choose to pay into a plan designed to assist in the prevention of oral health issues or to contribute to the cost of reparative care.

And, with an estimated 2.6 million patients currently electing to follow this route in the UK, it is a programme that could prove very popular with the public, as well as offering some significant savings for the NHS.
Roger Matthews, Denplan’s chief dental officer said: 'PHBs put decisions about healthcare management into the hands of the patient, with appropriate oversight and controls. We have supported this report as it questions the basis for addressing health funding generally. It opens the debate about alternative approaches to managing healthcare and the transformational impact that it can have.'

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