Your NHS dentistry and oral health update – Issue 38

An update from Sara Hurley and Ali Sparke

Dear colleague,

The NHS has stood shoulder to shoulder with dental practices throughout this pandemic. The NHS’s generous income protection represented a substantial financial investment in the stability of NHS dentistry –  safeguarding provision for our patients, protecting valued dental practices and preserving livelihoods.

In addition to the recent pay increase announced by the Government, in our last letter we confirmed to you further financial support. Alongside ongoing income protection, this includes that the variable cost reduction is being retained at the lower level of 12.75%, applied to nondelivered activity, and that delivery over the performance threshold required for NHS income protection may be used to offset performance under the threshold in an earlier time period, offering contractors the greatest financial value. The government has also confirmed that free PPE provision will be extended beyond March 2022.

The 85% threshold for income protection during quarter 4 reflects our belief that, as practices have a proven ability to deliver more, it’s only right this capacity is used to the maximum benefit of NHS patients. 

But we understand there may be circumstances where reaching 85% isn’t possible, particularly as practices navigate the current workforce pressures relating to Omicron. We continue to stand by our hard working dental teams, today expanding on the exceptional circumstances guidance that has been in place throughout Covid-19.

We are also repeating our ask of those of you who are nearing (or already above) 100% UDA delivery that you go further where you can. In our last letter, we created an additional opportunity for practices in year by raising the upper tolerance threshold from 104% to 110% UDA delivery. We did this because we want NHS dentistry to see as many patients as possible. This opportunity is both for practices delivering over 100% UDAs in Q4 (after offsetting as necessary into earlier periods), or for the full year 2021/22.

Dentistry is an important part of the NHS. This year, by working with you and continuing to stand by you, we’re determined to see NHS dental services recover and improve.

Best wishes,

Sara and Ali

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