Oral Health Plan aims to map the future of Scottish dentistry

The biggest shake-up of dental services in more than a decade has been launched by the Scottish Government

29 September, 2016 / infocus

Scotland’s Oral Health Plan is being put out to consultation for 12 weeks and proposes a radical rethink of how patients are treated and dentists are remunerated. The document plans to introduce a new preventive care pathway, with the aim of moving dental services away from a restorative approach. The proposed pathway would provide a simplified system of charges for adults and children whose oral health is judged to be ‘stable’. Those with “poor and unstable oral health” would remain on the item of treatment system.

The consultation document also proposes to review the SDR and introduce an Oral Health Risk Assessment (OHRA) for all patients at 18 years of age and at regular intervals. The OHRA would determine the appropriate treatment and if they are on the correct pathway.

The consultation also proposes to work towards reducing the number of allowances available to dentists including a new practice allowance and GDP allowance, focusing on rewarding the level of NHS commitment and quality of service provided. It also asks whether a new national body is needed to take on shared admin duties, taking responsibility for practice inspections, NHS discipline and tribunals as well as General Dental Council referrals.

The remit and relevance of the Scottish Dental Practice Board is being questioned and the profession is being asked whether it should be abolished and its functions subsumed elsewhere or whether it should retain its existing remit.

At the launch, Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell said: “We need to have even more focus on prevention, and I want to hear dentists’ and patients’ views on how we can achieve that. Also, we have an ageing population, and we need to look at how to meet that challenge.”

David McColl, Vice Chair of the BDA’s Scottish Dental Practice Committee, said: “Getting prevention right is key to the future of oral health in Scotland. The British Dental Association is committed to engaging in this process, and we will be encouraging our members and the profession to do likewise.”

More info

Scotland’s Oral Health Plan, a consultation exercise on the future of oral health, can be viewed and completed online at www.gov.scot/oralhealthplan

Consultation roadshows

The Scottish Government is to host a series of consultation roadshows to get the views of dental professionals on the new Scotland’s Oral Health Plan document.

There will be up to 100 places available for each session which will include a presentation and a series of breakout sessions on the various themes discussed in the document. Chief Dental Officer Margie Taylor and other Scottish Government officials will be on hand to take part in discussions.

The dates are as follows (7-9pm unless otherwise stated):

3 October – Dundee
6 October – Dumfries
10 October – Stirling
11 October (2-4pm and 7-9pm) – Edinburgh
19 October (2-4pm and 7-9pm) – Clydebank
27 October – Aberdeen
28 October – Inverness
7 November – Dunfermline
8 November – Clydebank
14 November – Edinburgh
17 November – Hamilton

To book your place at one of the roadshows, visit scotlandsoralhealthplan.eventbrite.co.uk

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