Audit reminder for Scottish dentists

A NUMBER of key clinical audit deadlines are approaching for primary care dentists in Scotland.

A reminder has been sent out by NHS Education for Scotland (NES) to practitioners across the country highlighting the end of the three-year audit cycle on July 31, 2016.

Those who were already on the dental list on August 1, 2013 must undertake 15 hours of approved and certified clinical audit activity within the cycle. This includes vocational dental practitioners who started VT on August 1, 2013 and became an associate in August 2014.

New audit applications must be submitted to NES by December 18, 2015 “at the very latest” to allow them to issue approval by the end of January. All projects must be completed within six months of the approval date.

NES has made improvements to the clinical audit area of their website and enhanced the dental audit section of their Portal site to help dentists with the audit process.

There are now step-by-step instructions to assist those planning an audit project, undertaking a pre-approved audit or submitting a significant event analysis (SEA) report, plus information on peer review and practice-based research as forms of audit.

Dentists can also view the status of their NES-approved and certified audit activity via Portal. (Audits approved by health boards will not be listed.)

A total of eight pre-approved audits are still available for dentists to join via the Portal site’s "Dental Audit" tab within the iBooklet section. These will remain on the site until January 31, 2016.

After February 1, 2016, NES said it will continue to receive SEA project final reports provided these are received within six months of the date of the significant event. Reports on events that happened more than six months ago will be rejected.

The requirements vary for dentists who joined the list for the first time after August 1, 2013.

Those who joined between August 2, 2013 and December 31, 2013 must complete 10 hours of clinical audit activity by July 31, 2016. Between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014 the requirement is five hours; but between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015 no clinical audit activity is required.

The new audit cycle, requiring 15 hours, runs from August 1, 2016 to July 31, 2019.

Dentists with specific questions about clinical audit are being advised to contact their health board – and not NES – for further information.