It was a very gloomy scenario when one in ten dentists fail to sign the new contract. Due to this a million patients have lost their access to NHS dental care. About 2,100 practitioners rejected the new shake-up of the service designed to simplify charges, reduce unnecessary consultations and improve access. Statistics shows that previously there were two million people who were unable to get NHS treatment. But now after this about 970,000 lost their dentist. Even those who signed up to the new contracts was wondering how much work they are expected to carry out to earn a salary averaging £80,000. They said that they would quit the NHS by the summer unless agreements with their local primary care trusts (PCTs) were reached.
Rosie Winterton, a health minister, said those who signed the contract represented 96 % of NHS dental services in England. She also said that the work previously done by those who had refused to sign had been re-allocated and PCTs were making arrangements for many of those left out. She said that PCTs are already making progress in replacing the small proportion of services where dentists have not taken up the new contract. But the new system has provided the NHS the ability to expand in terms of the number of people seen but it will take time for the reforms to bed down.
Miss Winterton was optimistic that the new contract would help them achieve the goal of everybody receiving the services of an NHS dentist. Dr Barry Cockcroft, the acting chief dental officer, said that the main objection of dentists is that they believe they will have to work up to 13 hours a day to meet the targets in the contracts. But Susie Sanderson, of the British Dental Association has an entirely different story to narrate. She said that these reforms and by getting the dentists out of job would not achieve the Government's stated aims of greater access.