but the new contract is rubbish and a lot of dentists went private for good common sense business reasons!
- new contract pay varies accross the country. I moved to cumbria (an area lacking in NHS dentists from newcastle (loads of NHS). Now i get paid £4 per unit of treatment less.... multiply that up by a target of 7000 UDA's and its a £28k pay cut i took to move to an area with greater dental needs!!
In some areas of the NE dentists were getting £24-£25 per unit... and in some ares of cumbria its as low as £18. Guess which area has fewr NHS dentists?
- New contract penalises people who look after their teeth as they pay £44 quid for one filling. Yet people who need 10 fillings pay the same. Dentist gets paid the same for one filling as he does for 10 as well, so why would a dentist want to work under the new contract if he's in an area of high clinical needs. Sometimes after overheads (materials, utilities, staff wages) are factored in we would be better giving the patient a tenner and not even seeing them. Its quite common for me to see patients needing 4 or more half hour appointments...and get paid £60 by the NHS in total for 2 hours work. I always say a fee per item system is fairer as it encourages patients to actually look after their teeth! In the new system we also get patients declining a filling (eg if they just have one thats needed) saying they'll wait until they need another one as it'll be the same price!
In answer to the original point about kids dental care though, some PCT's are not allowing dentists to offer child only NHS contracts. They either have to be full NHS, or none. Its not always the dentists choice, but depends if the PCT will allow them to run a child only NHS contract.