Early findings from the dental contract reform engagement exercise

shutterstock_115187251The Department of Health conducted a dental contract reform engagement exercise this summer to test elements of a registration and capitation model that, if implemented, would replace the current NHS contract in England.

The exercise ran from June to August 2014.

In the coalition agreement the Government set out a commitment to further increasing access and improving oral health, particularly of children, by reforming the primary care dental system.

The number of responses received to the three papers were:

  • The clinical philosophy – 102
  • The measurement of quality and outcomes – 88
  • The remuneration approach – 128.

The key findings were:

  • The clinical philosophy: the majority of respondents (98%) supported a preventive pathway approach
  • The measurement of quality and outcomes: 57% of the respondents agreed that the three domains, clinical effectiveness, patient experience and safety, were the right areas
  • The remuneration approach: over half of respondents preferred a blended system, ie a mix of capitation and activity.

The Department of Health has said that the responses to the exercise are being closely analysed and the issues raised are being given careful consideration as work continues to develop thinking around prototypes.

It expects to publish the detailed findings from the exercise at the same time as proposals for prototyping.

No date has been set for this but the current expectation is that proposals will be published by early 2015.

Early findings from the exercise can be downloaded here.

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