19 May 2009
Q. I have been offered a job in an NHS practice in Scotland and want to know how it might differ from working in England.
NHS Dentistry in Scotland still operates under the ‘old' system where patients are registered under a capitation or continuing care arrangement with the dentist who is also paid a fee per item of service. The various fees are set out in the ‘Statement of Dental Remuneration' (SDR) which differs slightly from the former English version.
There is still an NHS Disciplinary System in Scotland where a dentist's Health Board may refer a matter for investigation to a neighbouring Health Board if they believe a dentist may be in breach of their NHS Terms of Service.
Payments under the NHS are made to dentists by the Practitioner Services Division (PSD) on behalf of the Health Boards which is also responsible for running the Dental Reference Service (DRS). Dental Reference Officers (DRO) in Scotland are responsible for examining patients both in respect of dentists seeking prior approval for treatment, and for assessing the standard of the completed treatment, as well as verifying the claims. The present DRS system for case assessment is currently being reviewed.
The PSD has a Clinical Governance function and may ask dentists to send in records cards which are then checked against the claim forms to corroborate the claims which have been made for these patients. This check may also be performed in conjunction with a DRO patient examination.
Scotland has produced their own guidance on Infection Control for healthcare settings, including dental practices. As a result of this, the Scottish Executive Health Dept established the Glennie Group that drew up a framework for improvements in decontamination processes. Click here to download the guidance 'Decontamination Into Practice'.
In addition to opening an office in Edinburgh to serve the needs of members in Scotland, you can find regional updates from Dental Protection here on the website .