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New quality improvement plans for dentists in Scotland

23 July 2019

New quality improvement plans for dentists in Scotland
In Scotland, General Dental Service and Public Dental Service dentists are required to carry out quality improvement (QI) activities as part of their terms of service.
BDA Scotland has long argued that the current clinical audit or quality improvement (QI) arrangements – which are due to end on 31 July – are unsatisfactory due to the bureaucratic approach and administrative burden.

In July 2019, the Scottish Government announced new arrangements for QI activities for the forthcoming three-year cycle 2019/22. 
They intend for the new cycle to offer opportunities for dentists to engage in a series of national activities over each of the three years. The theme of the cycle will be ‘Building a Quality Improvement Culture’.

The Scottish Government intend to use a Safety Climate Survey (SCS) to be delivered in partnership with NHS Education for Scotland and Healthcare Improvement Scotland in year one of the new cycle. 

SCSs have already been successfully undertaken by pharmacists and general medical practitioners. They anticipate that this will be a straightforward process and will involve the whole team in each practice in Scotland. 

The aim will be to generate a wealth of information on what the QI priorities are for dentistry and will inform years two and three as well as future QI cycles. Activities for years two and three will be released in due course by the Scottish Government.

The BDA’s Scottish Dental Practice Committee and Scottish Public Dental Service Committee were consulted about the proposals and are in support. We will continue to liaise with the Scottish Government over the next stage of the process.
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