Scottish government confirms plans to scrap activity targets for dental practices
The Scottish government has confirmed plans to scrap activity targets for dental practices.
The chief dental officer for Scotland, Tom Ferris, has written a letter to dental professionals, outlining proposals to abandon activity targets linked to financial support. In October 2020, the government indicated that practices would need to meet certain targets in order to receive financial assistance during the pandemic. This plan has now been scrapped and clinics will not need to hit specific targets to qualify for funding.
Mr Ferris predicts that activity will continue to increase in the coming months, with ongoing access to PPE and improved ventilation in practices enabling teams to treat more patients. At present, the levels are around 50% of pre-pandemic activity but numbers are increasing steadily.
In his letter to the profession, Mr Ferris confirmed that the link between activity levels and “tiered financial support” would be abandoned for the majority of dental practices. Mr Ferris added that it may be necessary to introduce measures in the future to restore access to NHS dental services and enable more patients to see a dentist.
Despite the improvements in recent weeks, statistics suggest that some practices are only operating at 20% of their contracted activity levels and some clinics have registered no claims. Mr Ferris said that practices that are reporting low or no activity at all will be contacted as a priority to see if additional assistance is required. He added, “the aim is to identify barriers and where necessary introduce improvement action plans, which may be specific to each practice.”Join this Discussion