Headlines: October 13th, 1998

The Government has announced thirteen new pilots which have been given the task of finding new ways of delivering NHS dental services.Many of the pilot sites are in areas where patients have had difficulties getting access to an NHS dentist.

The ‘personal dental service’ pilots, which are sharing six hundred thousand pounds to fund their preparatory costs, have been established under the NHS (Primary Care) Act 1997 which offers flexible new approaches in the delivery of NHS dentistry.

An example of the services to be provided under the pilots is the offering of a drop-in service so that patients do not need to be registered with an NHS dentist but can access care whenever they need it.

Like the developments in GP practice, the pilots are able to put new emphasis on the provision of ‘salaried dentists’ in areas where dental practices are failing to take NHS patients in the numbers demanded.

Another emphasis with the pilots will be on oral health promotion.