The Welsh Government has acknowledged the current contractual system needs reform. Units of Dental Activity (UDA) as a sole measure of contract performance, focusing on treatment activity only, does not encourage needs-led care, prevention, or make the best use of the skills of the whole dental team. A move away from UDA targets is already embedded within the current Welsh NHS dental contract reform programme.
Learning is being used from previous dental pilot experience. The programme involves key dental stakeholders in the development, collection and reporting of oral health risks, needs and outcomes of individual patients.
Understanding individual and whole practice population need helps dental teams to communicate better. Working with patients to co-produce care plans means they receive personalised care resulting in improved outcomes.
The dental contract reform programme encourages:
- improved delivery of evidence-based prevention
- the implementation of needs-led dental recall intervals
- an increase in the use of skill mix
There are currently 132 practices participating in the programme, which represent over 30% of all general dental practices in Wales. The aim is to have over 50% of practices part of the reform programme by October 2020.