Sara Hurley CDO releases update on NHS contract and withdraws SOP

CDO Sara Hurley releases new SOP for dentistryChief dental officer for England, Sara Hurley, has updated the dental profession on the latest NHS contract requirements. 

In a letter addressed to the profession this afternoon, it reads: ‘Following a review of transmitted data to date within Q4 we have introduced a minimum threshold of 75% for units of dental activity (UDA) for contractors only.

‘We all recognise the backlog of care which has accumulated during the period where dental services have not operated at full capacity. Many contractors are already delivering over 100%. [It is] critical for those contractors who are not already there make progress to return as quickly as possible to the pre-pandemic activity levels.

‘Our current plan is for a return to normal contracting arrangements from July 2022. We will confirm these arrangements separately. However, we have agreed a further exceptional period of support for Q1 at 95% for dental contractors only.’

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Further changes

She also confirmed that the current standard operating procedures (SOP) has been withdrawn with immediate effect.

She added: ‘Over the coming period, as signalled in December, we will announce a set of further changes to the current contract resulting from discussions with the profession since 2021 and in consultation more recently with the BDA. [This is] with the aim of improving dental services as normal contracting arrangements resume.

‘Thank you for the effort you have put in over the past few months to support NHS patients.’

In addition, she confirms arrangements will be kept under review subject to further significant Covid developments.

The full letter can be read here.

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