Dental surgeries could extend opening hours

Posted on April 30, 2009. Filed under: Journals | Tags: |

Health Services Journal | By Helen Crump | 30 April 2009

Primary care trusts are to begin a £150m procurement process which could see dental surgeries opening outside normal hours.

National director for GP and dentistry access Mike Warburton said contracts for new work should focus on quality and access rather than activity and consider extended hours. PCTs would decide what hours were appropriate.

He said the money would be used for “additional procurement and new services” but did not have to involve a new building as last year’s GP led health centre procurement had done. No dental walk-in centres are proposed.

Tendering process

Dr Warburton said most investment would be in southern England, where shortages were greatest. PCTs will be expected to use tendering processes.

Dr Warburton denied that the change in emphasis in the contracting arrangements was an admission the present dental contract was not working.

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