Changes for NHS dental practices in Scotland

ADULT NHS dental patients must be given an examination when they register with a new practice in Scotland.

Previously, NHS dentists only had to examine new child patients. They will now be expected to check all new adults registering with the practice, noting any decayed, missing or filled teeth in their patient record.

The new requirement is among a number of changes set out in the NHS (General Dental Services) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2016 which come into effect on April 1, 2016.

Other notable changes include an increase in the prior approval limit – the point at which a dentist must seek prior approval for a course of care of treatment – to £390 for treatment started on or after April 1.

The specific monetary amount has also been removed from the Regulations and will now sit in the Statement of Dental Remuneration (SDR). The aim is to allow the amount to be varied on a more frequent basis, without requiring an amendment to the Regulations.

The updated Regulations also now forbid dentists from terminating care arrangements for discriminatory reasons, i.e. due to a patient’s race, gender, social class, age, religion, sexual orientation, appearance, disability or medical condition.

The Scottish Government set out all the changes in a recent memorandum to practices, advising those with further queries to contact their NHS Board.

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