22 December 2021
NHS England has provided an update on planned changes to dental contractual requirements for Q4 of this year and for 2022. The update, which states that the recently revised IPC guidance “allows us to take a further significant step towards the full recovery of NHS dental provision” sets out the following changes:
Quarter 4 2021/2022
- Between January and March 2022 clawback will not be applied to practices delivering at least 85% of contracted UDAs, reflecting the level many practices have already been delivering before the IPC changes and giving practices some contractual flexibility as they adjust to new IPC guidance. There will be no lower threshold in Q4, so that for delivery below 85% normal clawback will apply.
- For orthodontic contracts clawback will not be applied to practices delivering at least 90% of contracted Units of Orthodontic Activity (UOAs). The rate of clawback will then reduce linearly down to a lower threshold of 85% of UOAs, with delivery of those lower thresholds earning practices 90% of contractual income for Q4. Below this lower threshold normal clawback will apply.
- The variable cost reduction, reduced in Q3 to benefit practices, will be retained at the lower level of 12.75%, applied to non-delivered activity.
April 2022 onward
- The update states that “Practices should plan on the basis that NHS income protection will come to an end in April 2022 and we will revert to usual contract management arrangements”.
The update also confirms that the currently published dental appendix to the IPC guidance remains applicable in light of the Omicron variant, including practice risk assessments and implementation of mitigations in line with the hierarchy of controls with an emphasis on ventilation throughout the practice and in particular areas where AGPs are undertaken. All patients should be screened for potential COVID-19 infection, ideally prior to attendance at the setting and on arrival, using the COVID-19 screening questions.