NHS England South West (North) has commissioned nine new orthodontic contracts in key locations across Gloucestershire, Swindon and Wiltshire. This follows the re-procurement of orthodontic services where existing contracts were due to expire and will allow an increase in the number of patients that can start treatment each year.
The new providers will be based in the following locations: Cheltenham, Gloucester, Stroud, Tewkesbury, Forest of Dean, Swindon, Salisbury and Westbury.
Debra Elliott, Director of Commissioning, NHS England South West said: “NHS England commissions orthodontic services alongside other forms of NHS dentistry. Some existing contracts for orthodontic services in the South of England including Gloucestershire, Swindon and Wiltshire come to an end on 31 March 2019. As a result, we have carried out a robust competitive procurement exercise to secure services from 1 April 2019 to ensure that patients continue to receive orthodontic treatment. The reprocurement will help increase orthodontic provision and enable more children to receive treatment. Over time, waiting times are expected to decrease based on the current usage.”
New contracts will provide improved services for patients for example, under the new contracts practices will now have to provide 30% of appointments outside of school hours which may include after-school, at weekends and during school holidays.
All bids underwent a rigorous evaluation process involving members of the NHS England local and regional dental, nursing, finance, information governance and human resources teams, dental practice advisers, Public Health England Consultants in Dental Public Health and NHS Business Services Authority orthodontic clinical advisers.
Bids were assessed against a number of factors including clinical and service delivery, premises and equipment, patient experience, clinical and information governance, staffing and the transfer of patients and how they would effectively mobilise the service to be ready to take on patients from April 2019.
NHS England are working with both new and existing providers to ensure that arrangements are in place for the new services to commence on 1 April 2019. New providers will contact patients nearer to the date of the contract start to introduce themselves and make sure that patients have all the information they need.
Information about the outcome of the procurement and mobilisation plan has also been shared with high street dental practices, to help them provide accurate information to patients requiring future orthodontic treatment.
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