If experience no longer matters…*how much could the introduction of tiered treatment cramp your style?
Compiling “treatment complexity” tables has occurred since 2001 in dentistry**, in an attempt to make sure that treatment is carried out by those who are best trained and competent. There is a danger that this objective is subverted by the need to ration treatment to meet overall healthcare budgetary needs set by government.
If tiered dental treatment is introduced and becomes standard practice as a result of the NHS contract reform:
- Three quarters of dentists would be concerned
- Nearly two thirds (64%) would be likely to leave the NHS
- Almost half (48%) would consider further study or exams in order to do more advanced treatments***
The challenge would be how to validate dentists who are competent through experience but not necessarily equipped with formal qualifications. Potentially, it’s a great leveller, preventing many NHS dentists from undertaking more complex work without further training, assessment and almost inevitably, cost. However, if tiered treatment is introduced as part of NHS contract reform, could this also limit your clinical freedom and fail to recognise your experience?
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*Dental contract Reform Pilots, Notes to support Care Pathway Approach, Department of Health, pre-publication copy.
** https://www.rcseng.ac.uk/fds/publications-clinical guidelines/clinical_guidelines/documents/complexityassessment.pdf
***Denplan NHS Survey, May 2016