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NHS Dental Recovery Plan

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The Government and NHS England have recently launched a new NHS Dental Recovery Plan to try to address the shortage of NHS dentist appointments in the UK.

New Patient Premium

One of the announcements includes a New Patient Premium. From March 2024 to March 2025, practices in England will receive additional income for seeing new patients (patients who have not been seen by an NHS dentist in at least two years).

The income is £15 per patient for band one treatments (check ups, scale and polish, dental moulds and dentures adjustments, etc) and £50 per patient for band two and three treatments (fillings, additions to dentures, tooth removal, root canal treatment, bridges, crowns, etc).

The payments will be converted into Units of Dental Activity (UDAs) and claimable against your contractual UDA target.

Minimum UDA value

From 1 April 2024, NHS dental contracts with a UDA value of less than £28 will have their UDA value uplifted to £28. It is estimated that this will benefit approximately 700 NHS dental contracts.

It may be implemented by NHS England by maintaining a practices’ contract value but reducing the UDA targets of those practices, effectively creating a higher UDA value.

Golden hellos

The plan has made 240 golden hellos available where dentists are willing to work in the most under served areas for up to three years.

These are worth £20,000 and are expected to be paid in stages, £10,000 in the first year and £5,000 in each of years two and three.

There may be clawbacks if dentists do not work in the area for the full three years.

Other measures

A number of other measures have been mentioned in the plan, such as:

  • Introducing dental vans in rural and coastal areas to enable people in isolated communities to access dental care.
  • Increasing dental training places by up to 40% by 2031/32.
  • Introducing a new ‘Smile for Life’ focus on good oral health and prevention in young children, via nurseries, schools and family hubs.
  • Making it easier for patients to view which of their local dentists are accepting new NHS patients through the NHS App.

It is expected that the Dental Recovery Plan should boost the number of dental appointments available across the country by 2.5 million next year.

If you have any questions about the above or require any further assistance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our dedicated Healthcare team or call 0333 123 7171.