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Reasons cited by the practices contacted for not taking on new NHS subsidised patients are:

  • That the three UDA tiers within the NHS contract are too broad. For example, the same number of UDA points are earned if a patient has one filling or two, three or more fillings.  This often leaves dentists out of pocket;
  • That there is too much paperwork and scrutiny for those with an NHS contract, which is viewed as time-consuming and burdensome;
  • That dentists already have enough NHS patients to reach their contracted UDA limit and don’t have capacity to negotiate extra UDAs given their existing (NHS and private) workload.

Healthwatch Dorset also cites the broad nature of the UDA tiers within the NHS contract as a problem, which they consider acts as a disincentive to treating those patients with relatively unhealthy teeth, unless doing so privately.

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