NHS Dental Contracts: Court rewrites Liverpool dentists' NHS targets

08 July 2010

After a 5 day trial in Manchester, a group of NHS dentists (represented by Thomas Roe) succeeded in persuading the Court to grant rectification of their NHS contracts.

Under a controversial system introduced by the previous government in 2006, NHS dentists are contracted to perform a set number of 'units of dental activity' each year. The intention was that the number of units would reflect the amount of care and treatment performed historically so that no NHS dentist would be any worse off under the new system. However, the dentists in this case, who had been sued by the Liverpool NHS Primary Care Trust for repayments after they missed their targets, claimed that the number of units set by the PCT was too high. They established that the PCT had paid no regard at all to their historical performance when setting their targets. Although the dentists were required to make a partial repayment, the dentists therefore succeeded in establishing that their targets had not been set correctly and the Court rectified the relevant contracts where appropriate to reflect historical performance.