SDA UPDATE 7th October 2020
As most of you will be aware, our previous vehicle for calculating remuneration, the SDR has apparently finally been consigned to the history books. In its place, the CDO wishes to launch a new scheme next year, to be publicised by a series of roadshows.
It has been stated that the CDO is open to discussing these proposals with all stakeholders, but also that his preference is to talk only with the BDA / SDPC. We are aware that the SDPC have created a working group in anticipation of this process.
It is our sincere hope that discussions on the future funding of our profession will be wide ranging and seek to create a genuinely new system, inspired by some of the best dental care provision models from around the world, and tailored to the needs of the Scottish population. It is our great fear that a politically driven model, which does not meet the needs of our profession nor our patients, will be imposed without meaningful negotiation.
It is very frustrating that the discussions between the CDO and SDPC / BDA happen behind closed doors and there is often an embargo on disseminating information to the profession in a timely manner. It is also worrying that, as has been stated previously, the CDO does not negotiate so much as present his position. We would note here that although the BDA recently took a strong stance on the safety of the expired and revalidated 3M 1863 masks, it lacked resolve when its advice was not heeded, and its credibility is surely diminished as a result.
We have been without a means to provide meaningful treatment on the NHS for six months already, with no idea as to how much longer we may remain in a similar situation. Our patient’s oral health is suffering terribly and many are desperate for treatment but are holding out for “things to get back to normal”. The lack of guidance we have in this regard makes it incredibly difficult to advise patients, who may be considering making sacrifices during this period of financial instability, to pay privately to have their dental treatment completed.
In view of the above, we do not feel that we should simply stand by and await the outcome of the negotiations on the genesis of the future system of remuneration for NHS dental care. While we are keen to be involved in the negotiations in any way possible, our efforts are tempered by the need to be realistic and the desire to be idealistic.
We have been working on various models for the remuneration of dental care with a view to submitting our own detailed proposals. We are also working on a proposed model for what we would consider to be the gold standard in the provision of dental care, and shall publish more on this soon. We have shared on our website a document which works through the various potential funding models, along with a letter we recently sent to Joe Fitzpatrick.
This funding model document will also be shared with all interested parties who may be have a role in the negotiations mentioned. As said, we have to be realistic, so doing what we can to help anyone fighting on our side has to be worthwhile.
From an idealistic standpoint, we would very much like the SDA to play as much of a role here as possible since we are passionate about the need to get this right and to get back to treating patients properly.
We will best achieve this, we think, by remaining positive and engaged. It is the aim of the SDA to support all dental professionals and in turn we would hope to be supported by all dental professionals.
We hope to launch the SDA as a professional body very shortly. The association is in the final stages of incorporation and once this is completed, we aim to develop a large membership and hold elections for office with a view to becoming a professional body which can really claim to be representative of the profession in this country.
We would welcome any feedback on the material on the website and shall shortly be running a poll with a view to gauging the level of support for each of our proposed models. We would also like to hear from anyone who wishes to get involved with this project.