NHS contract reform: what if?

Posted by Denplan on 15/12/2016
IF roundtable

Denplan recently brought together a panel of dental practitioners and key opinion leaders to give them the opportunity to voice their fears, concerns and hopes for the incoming NHS dental contract and discuss how to make it work for patients and practitioners. 

The debate centred on some of the key if statements that have been used by Denplan in their if (‘In Front’) marketing campaign that has been running since March 2016. 

The overall aim of the campaign has been to inform dentists about NHS dental contract reform and help them consider how any future changes to the present contract could impact their practice going forward. 

The roundtable event, which was held in central London in November, was chaired by Martin Fallowfield, Head of Professional Relations at Denplan and was attended by: 

  • Dr Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen, British Dental Association (BDA); 
  • Dr Mick Horton, Dean of the Faculty of General Dental Practitioners; 
  • Dr Nick Forster, GDP, St. James and Chesil Dental Practice, Winchester; 
  • Dr Eddie Coyle, Head of Clinical Services and Commissioning at Oasis Dental Care; 
  • Dr Ben Atkins, GDP, Revive Dental Care, Manchester; 
  • Chris Groombridge, Chair of Teeth Team, Hull; 
  • Dr Josephine Jones, GDP, Avenue Road Dental Practice, Wallington; 
  • Jolian Howell, Head of Dental Marketing at Denplan. 


The debate kicked off with one of the most contentious issues surrounding the new NHS contact – the possibility that contract holders may be forced to retender their contract every five years. Chair of the event, Dr Martin Fallowfield, posed the question to the panel that if five-year re-tendering were mandatory, how would dentists’ long-term business plans be affected? The view from the panel was unanimously sceptical about the logistics of time-limited contracts. As GDP Dr Ben Atkins emphasised, the ‘depth of tendering’ is a long process that can be stressful for dentists, which potentially takes dental professionals out of clinical practice for two to three weeks to work through the administration of the procedure. 

The NHS dental budget and the practice of mixing NHS and private treatments were also on the agenda. Items for discussion in the second half of the debate include proposed changes to the current NHS contract, analysis of how prototype practices are faring so far, and a look forward to the state of play for the profession 10 years from now. 

Dentistry magazine have covered the first half of the debate in their 8 December issue. Please click here to view the article as a pdf »

The second part will be published in their 12 January issue.

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