THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW Highlighting best practice
Access Dental are working to reduce oral health inequalities and ensure equal access to dental services
practice to attend following urgent dental treatment and no practices with imminent capacity to accept them as new patients. Those in need of follow-up treatment currently have no alternative option but to recontact the dental helpline for a further urgent appointment, should their condition deteriorate. Therefore, an end-to-end solution is needed to provide patients who do not have a regular dentist with a follow-up service to reduce the risk of patients suffering reoccurring urgent issues. The specialised integrated unscheduled dental healthcare service model, which we provide to the residents of Devon, is an exemplar in its field. Currently, we hold contracts for the dental waiting list, dental helpline and the provision of treatment at urgent dental clinics, and we are aware of the immense benefits this arrangement can realise. With integrated dental care such as the provision in Devon, patient journeys are streamlined, IT systems interlink seamlessly, analysis The future of NHS dental services
and reporting of data is complete and service is equal and fair across all areas. We are therefore championing the same model of care to be implemented across Britain, for the direct benefit of our patients. Furthermore, we would like to see further innovation in terms of information technology within the dental sector, as many are hampered by the lack of continuity within the dental system as a whole. Without a system-wide alignment of software, we must often resort to tailoring our systems to interact as best they can, with outdated local practice software. We are acutely aware that the patient population will continue to increase, and that in addition to any unscheduled dental care provisions we may introduce, going forward there will need to be a nationwide focus on general dentistry and the challenges faced by the entire system. We hope that in the years to come, the NHS will pave the way for dentists to once again take up NHS contracts, to provide increased longevity for the provision of dental services to our patients.
We would like to see further innovation in terms of information technology within the dental sector