How does the NHS prototype contract affect dental associates?

Bhavin Patel discusses how testing the NHS prototype contract affected him as an associate working at Woodford Dental Care.

Watch the video under this article where Bhavin explains his experience working as an associate in a prototype practice.

Woodford Dental Care decided to involve itself in the dental pilots in 2011.

Before any involvement in the pilots, the practice held team meetings to discuss what any involvement might include.

Bhavin believes there were flaws in the current UDA system so was eager to try the new pilots.

He wanted to see if he could help the practice make the pilot system work for them.

But his main driver was to be part of the change, and help influence the direction of the prototypes.

Getting up to speed with the prototype contract

To get started NHS England put on a series of lectures and seminars to help the practice and team get up to speed.

They explained what the pilots would be like, what the dentists would have to do and how the new computer system worked.

‘The computer systems are integral to the new prototype contract,’ Bhavin said.

‘A lot of it is tick boxing, there are certain algorithms that provide treatments.

‘So if you tick a certain box it will suggest certain treatments.

‘Each patient will then get a print out with their treatment plan specific to them depending on the boxes ticked.

‘But you can still override that, so you still have your clinical freedom.’


Transition from pilots to prototypes wasn’t huge for the team, because the systems already introduced worked.

The main difference for Bhavin was the way he, as an associate, was paid.

Watch what Bhavin had to say about the prototypes in the below video.

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