Prior approval system is in need of simplification
A major report into orthodontics in Scotland has made a number of key recommendations
The prior approval system for orthodontic patients needs to be simplified according to a new report by the Scottish Dental Needs Assessment Programme (SDNAP).
The Orthodontic Needs Assessment Report is the latest major report published by SDNAP and it makes a number of recommendations on the current state of orthodontic service provision in Scotland.
As well as the recommendation that the prior approval system is simplified, the report also advised that the amount of information requested be standardised. The report also stated that specialist practitioners had raised concerns that the system is currently very slow. However, Practitioner Services Division has said that it is making changes to expedite the process, but delays are often caused by the quality or lack of information provided in letters.
The report also raised the issue of retention, specifically who pays for a patient’s retainer when they are discharged back into their GDP’s care.
Jennifer Rodgers, consultant in dental public health at NHS Forth Valley and chair of the working group that produced the report, said: “The prior approval system is problematic at the moment, and needs to be simplified to ensure a favourable patient journey. This may mean communication between primary care and SDPB should improve to avoid time delays over missing/required information.
“Retention is an essential part of orthodontics and the time frames are increasing. As the funding is only available for one retainer, more and more patients are being discharged back to their GDP in retention. The onus is then on the GDP to monitor the retention and the funding for further retainers falls to the patient.
“The report recommends that clear guidance should be given on the remuneration for retention and retainers, and that training and funding will be required for GDPs.”