Dental audit activities extended

NHS Scotland is extending the range of activities that will count toward the clinical audit requirements of GDPs to include practice-based research, peer review and participation in the Scottish Patient Safety Programme.

Current activities are limited to traditional clinical audit and significant event analysis but in a letter to all Scottish GDPs the chief dental officer, Margie Taylor, announced that the additional audit activities should be available later in the current audit cycle.

NHS Scotland is also investigating the possibility of triggering the payment of the Clinical Audit Allowance electronically, similar to the current process for the Continuing Professional Development Allowance.

NHS Education for Scotland (NES) is now working with the administrative team of the Scottish Dental Practice Based Research Network (SDPBRN) to allow practices to log research activity investigating the quality of dental care. This will be eligible for up to five hours credit in any three year audit cycle. Work on the NES portal to facilitate this is planned for completion by the end of February 2014.

NES is also developing guidance and templates so that peer review activity can be managed utilising the portal. It is intended that this work will be completed by late August 2014. Work is also expected to begin in late Autumn 2014 to incorporate the Scottish Patient Safety Programme into clinical audit requirements.

In the letter Margie Taylor also reminds GDPs that the current audit cycle commenced on 1 August 2013 will end on 31 July 2016. She says: "Although this is some time away, in order to ensure that you meet your audit requirements you may wish to start your audit planning now. Should, at the end of the audit cycle, your NHS Board believe that you are not compliant with your terms of service under GDS Regulations, please remember that the sanction open to them is referral for disciplinary procedures."