THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW Highlighting best practice
Adapting to change Having provided NHS orthodontic treatment for 175 patients per year over the past 20 years, we took part in an NHS tendering process in 2018. Sadly, we were unsuccessful in our bid and are now fully focused on providing our expertise to our private patients. As a group of clinicians, we feel that the loss of our specialist skills and those of other unsuccessful bidders to the NHS will be significant. Registered orthodontic specialists are a rare commodity that the NHS can ill afford to lose. The NHS tendering process was highly complex and beyond the skills of most practice owners. Without hiring specialist advisers to explain the nuances of NHS protocols, it would be an even greater lottery. In planning the future delivery of NHS dental care, there appears to be little constructive communication between professional representative bodies such as the British Dental Association, the British Orthodontic Society and the Department of Health. Even more worryingly, there is a real lack of meaningful public consultation about changes being made to NHS
dental services, leaving patients frustrated and often annoyed. Limited government funding, relatively short- term NHS contracts of five to ten years and the uncertainty that the tendering process brings to funding streams mean that practice owners will gradually move to a privately funded business model. Patients demand and expect the very best dental care, with advanced complex procedures now only being available on a private basis. Shaping the future Looking ahead, we see our practice as one which provides a full range of high-quality dental and orthodontic services under one roof. This will require a combination of specialist and general dental skills. A privately funded business model is required to achieve our goals, with significant further investment in technology and continuing professional development. We are proud to be part of a highly valued and respected profession and look forward to continuing to make a vital contribution to our patients’ wellbeing.
Patients demand and expect the very best dental care with advanced complex procedures now only being available on a private basis