Dental

The role of our primary care dental teams is to commission quality, accessible and timely NHS dental services for residents in the South East of England, across primary, secondary and community care dental pathways. These are implemented through national contracting mechanisms, enablers and frameworks, developed to support local commissioning of NHS dental services.

Special Care and Paediatric Dental Services

About the services

Special Care and Paediatric Dentistry services (sometimes known as Community Dental Services) include a wide range of services provided for both children and adults unable to attend general dental services due to additional needs, for example, those relating to physical or learning disabilities, or where they have a need for enhanced support to receive treatment.

Services are provided to patient groups with a variety of needs, some of the key groups are: adults and children with learning disabilities; those with physical or sensory disabilities; patients with complex medical problems: patients needing dental care in their own homes; patients needing general anaesthetic; and children in the care of social services or with complex social problems.

Commissioning of services

NHS England and NHS Improvement South East is planning to commission new contracts to deliver Special Care and Paediatric Dental Services with contracts commencing from April 2022.

Contracts will be commissioned to deliver services in geographical lots as follows:

  • Kent
  • Sussex
  • Surrey
  • Hampshire and the Isle of Wight
  • Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire

The following services which are currently delivered under Community Dental Services contracts will also be re-commissioned under separate contracts:

  • Unscheduled Dental Care (Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire)
  • Sedation (Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire)
  • Periodontal services (Kent)
  • Prison dentistry (Kent)

These re-commissioning processes may be based on different lots to Special Care and Paediatric Dentistry services with different schedules, but it is planned that all services should commence from 1st April 2022.

Information for providers

The proposed start date for new contracts to deliver Special Care and Paediatric Dental Services in the South East has now been extended from 1st April 2022 to 1st April 2023.

This decision has been made following careful consideration of feedback from providers.

Current contracts will be extended to this date to ensure continuity of services.

To manage the future provider selection process our indicative timeline is as follows:

August 2021 Market briefing (3rd)
September to October 2021 Stage 1 Provider expression of interest and initial capability  and capacity assessment (Collaboration arrangements should be clear and agreed by this time)
November 2021 Commissioner to review and Evaluate Stage 1 submissions
December 2021 Issue tender documents where more than one capable provider has expressed an interest in a lot*
December 2021 – May 2022 Exclusive assurance process where there is only one capable expression of interest for a lot*
February 2022 Closing dates for bids (where more than one capable provider)
March –  June 2022

 

Evaluation & sign-off
July 2022 Contract award
April 2023 Service commencement

We recognise that this remains a challenging timescale but will provide updates as soon as we can to progress the commissioning of these services.

We acknowledge the feedback received at the latest market engagement and there are 3 key themes we plan to follow up in the near future:

  • The service specification including contract currency of UDAs
  • The impact of the pandemic
  • Managing the challenges faced by the services in preparing for provision post 1st April 2023

As a next step we will carry out a clinical engagement process through the Managed Clinical Networks, Local Dental Networks and Local Dental Committees to review the issues arising from the market engagement Questions and Answers to achieve a clear position on the service specification, which will also take account of any potential longer-term impacts of the pandemic.

*We are cognisant of the white paper on system reform and the consultation document for the new provider selection regime.  The approach to securing these services as described above is compliant with current regulations and we believe will be aligned to the assurance required when commissioning new and enhanced services.

A market briefing event for the profession was held in November 2020. You can view the slides from the briefing and a recording of the briefing.

If you have an interest as a provider in the re-commissioning of Special Care and Paediatric Dentistry services you can find more details including the service specification on the In-Tend website.

If, after viewing the presentation and service specification, you have any questions about the services provided or the commissioning process we are undertaking please contact us at england.southeastdentalfeedback@nhs.net

You can see the latest questions and answers here.

Commissioning of mandatory dental services for Kent and Sussex

NHS England and NHS Improvement (South East) are commissioning some new contracts to provide mandatory dental services in some areas of Kent and Sussex. These are to replace services where dental providers have ended their contracts. We are also commissioning a small number of contracts to increase provision where there is the highest need.

We carried out a needs assessment and asked for feedback from stakeholders, patients, the public and the dental profession before finalising details of the procurement. You can view the health needs assessments and the engagement report by clicking on the links below:

Commissioning of mandatory dental services for Portsmouth, Alton and Tadley areas

NHS England and NHS Improvement (South East) are commissioning some new contracts to provide mandatory dental services in the Portsmouth, Alton and Tadley areas. These are to replace services where dental providers have ended their contracts.

We carried out a needs assessment for each area and asked for feedback from stakeholders, patients and the public and the dental profession before finalising details of the procurement.