Under new arrangements announced by the Department of Health in 2003, Primary Care Trusts will be required to commission dental services and dentists will be paid for delivering local contracts to meet patients' oral health needs, rather than for each item of treatment. Following consultation, these changes are due to be implemented from October 2005. This NAO report finds that there is a strong rationale for reforming the current system of NHS dentistry in England but highlights significant risks that will need to be managed if new systems are to be effective and provide value for money. Issues discussed include: the new roles and responsibilities that Primary Care Trusts will have to develop in order to implement and manage the new arrangements; problems of access to NHS dentists, particularly in some areas; the shortage of dentists and recruitment needs; the risk that capacity freed up under the new system might not be utilised to the benefit of the NHS; and the level of patient awareness of entitlements, service availability and charges under the new system.Lessons from one Primary Care Trust include: aquot;the work up to going live is more time consuming than anticipated; agreement of funding is vital; and its hard ... level of commitment in providing the full range of services for NHS patients as they currently do for similar levels of earnings. ... The Departmenta#39;s announcement of 1 6 July 2004 that funding of NHS dental service would increase by Ap250 million inanbsp;...
|Title||:||Reforming NHS dentistry|
|Author||:||Great Britain. National Audit Office|