The 1st of April 2016 marked the 10th year anniversary since the UDA/UOA contracts came into force.

I was training for another dental software company when this came into force, and I can still remember now the general lack of knowledge and understanding in the public domain when it started.

For once, the dental practices and dental software companies were singing from the same hymn sheet in regards to not knowing a great deal and it took at least 6-9 months for all the little quirks to be ironed out.

Thankfully the NHS learnt a lot from their mistakes - they now have pilot sites running the latest round of changes they are planning to introduce, enabling them to receive very valuable feedback on how it will work once there is a national roll out. This is an excellent idea, which allows them to focus their changes better.

I have been travelling around the country, training new practices, for the last 10 years and I have seen both the good and the bad things about the UDA/UOA system.

I think most of us can agree that one of the major cons about the system was the fact that the UDA contract value for the practices were not standardised. This meant 2 NHS practices on the very same road could be receiving different UDA values.

When researching for this blog, I went straight to the British Dental Association (BDA) website to see how they thought the last 10 years had gone on.

They have carried out a survey of their members on how they through the last 10 years have helped NHS Dentistry. Click here to view the results of that survey.

In case you don't have time to read it, the main statistics from this survey are as follows:

  • 93 per cent of dentists report that chasing government targets is limiting their ability to care for high-needs patients who require complex or repeat treatment.
  • 83 per cent say the system is holding them back from preventive work; Nearly 70 per cent state that the contract is now limiting their ability to take on NHS patients.
  • Over 85 per cent state it is restricting the time they can spend with patients.

From my experiences to date, I find it hard to disagree with the above figures.

Luckily, with Dentally, our dental software allows you to manage your NHS contract. This may help you if you're one of the number of people who would agree with the above statistics. We believe that dental software should get out of the practitioners way, enabling them to spend better quality time with their patients.

Lets hope the NHS have learnt a lot of lessons when they introduce the new RAG system.