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The NHS Commissioning Board (NHS CB) has today published Securing Excellence in Commissioning NHS Dental Services.
From April 2013, the NHS CB will take commissioning responsibility from primary care trusts for all NHS dental services: primary, community and secondary, including dental out of hours and urgent care.
This will include commissioning dental services provided in high street dental practices, community dental services, and dental services at general hospitals and dental hospitals.
The NHS CB will commission NHS dental services based on the local oral health needs assessment which will be developed by public health teams in local authorities and will help determine the needs of local populations.
The benefit of the NHS CB becoming a single commissioner for all dental services will be the ability to plan for and deliver more consistent standards, higher quality services and better health outcomes for patients across the whole of England. A more consistent approach to commissioning and contract management will be implemented in order to deliver these improvements.
In addition, by having the oversight and responsibility for commissioning all dental services for the population, the NHS CB will be able to ensure greater coordination between the different areas of dental care. This offers dentistry a unique opportunity to share excellence across England.
A ‘care pathway’ approach is proposed for all dental services in Securing Excellence in Commissioning NHS Dental Services – the new national single operating model for dental commissioning. The care pathways will describe consistent national elements, regardless of setting. This will ensure a focus on patient outcomes and greater consistency in delivery of dental services, both in the sequencing, effectiveness and quality of clinical care and the ‘journey’ that patients’ experience.
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