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University Dental Service: Notice

1. In their notice of 21 April 1999 (Reporter, 1998-99,p. 492) the Council announced the establishment of a Committee for the review of the University Dental Service, under the chairmanship of Sir Terence English. The terms of reference of the Review Committee were to consider the accommodation, operation, and financing of the University Dental Service, and to make recommendations regarding the future of the Service. The Review Committee has now reported to the Council, who have considered the recommendations in the report.

2. The University Dental Service was established in 1968-69 (Reporter, 1968-69, pp. 1690-93) because of the difficulties students were experiencing in obtaining routine dental treatment, or even emergency treatment, under the NHS. The main objective of the Service was therefore to make NHS treatment available to undergraduate and postgraduate students. As undergraduate demand was limited to the University Terms, NHS treatment was also offered to University staff in the vacations.

3. A review of the Service in 1993 by the Committee of Management of the University Health Service noted the increased demand on the Service and the objectives of the Service were re-defined as follows:

The aims of the University Dental Service are to provide as a matter of priority a NHS Dental Service for registered undergraduate and postgraduate students and their dependants. Additionally, the Service may provide treatment under the NHS for such members of the University as can be accommodated.

4. Since 1993 members of University staff and their dependants who were previously registered have continued to be seen under the NHS arrangement. A waiting list has operated for staff members of the University who were not registered at that time but who wished to be seen under the NHS. However, it has only been possible to offer private treatment while they were on the waiting list.

5. The present Review Committee considered the current situation in both NHS and private dentistry in so far as this affects the University Dental Service.

6. The Committee noted that NHS remuneration is on a fee per item basis with no recognition of time spent. This contrasts with private remuneration where time is the main factor. For this reason many dental surgeons, even those newly qualified, wish to develop a degree of private practice. It has become increasingly difficult to employ a dental surgeon in the University Dental Service who is willing to provide students with NHS treatment unless there is also opportunity for private work in the practice.

7. The Council have agreed therefore, on the recommendation of the Review Committee, that provision of dental treatment in the University should be revised, with immediate effect, as follows:

1. That NHS treatment should be confined to registered undergraduates, and postgraduates and their children, and the children of academic, academic-related, and assistant staff. This means that, of the categories listed below, categories 1, 2, 3, and 7 would be allowed to register as NHS patients. The other categories 4, 5, 6, 8, and 9 would be offered private treatment. A list of charges is available from the University Dental Service, 3 Trumpington Street, Cambridge, CB2 1QA.
1. Undergraduates NHS
2. Postgraduates NHS
3. Children of 1 and 2 NHS
4. Spouses of 1 and 2 Private
5. Academic and Academic-related Staff Private
6. Assistant Staff Private
7. Children of 5 and 6 NHS
8. Spouses of 5 and 6 Private
9. Retired members of the University Private
2. That staff and their spouses should be offered voluntary participation in a national dental insurance plan at preferential rates. National Dental Plan - NDP - offers two levels of cover. NDP Plus reimburses the equivalent of NHS charges, subject to an annual limit of £600. The premium, which would be payable under a University group membership, is £6.50 per month if paid via the payroll, or £6.75 if paid by direct debit. NDP Premier reimburses a higher schedule of charges, subject to an annual limit of £950. The premium, which would be payable under a University group membership, is £10.50 per month if paid via the payroll, or £10.75 if paid by direct debit. Details are available from the University Dental Service.

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Cambridge University Reporter, 6 June 2001
Copyright © 2011 The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge.