Second Report Contents

Instruments of interest

National Health Service (General Dental Services Contracts and Personal Dental Services Agreements) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019/1445)

36.This instrument extends the pilot of a new method for remunerating NHS dentists from its existing end date of 31 March 2020 for another two years. We commented on the initial pilot scheme (composed of three variants) in 2011,12 which first tested a new approach to the provision of dental care based more on prevention than on the treatment of dental problems. We have seen a number of related instruments in the interim.13 A refined prototype agreement, based on the outcome of the 2011 exercise, has been under test since April 2016. We were surprised that after eight years the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) still feels it has insufficient information to make a decision. DHSC told us:

“The testing of the prototype agreement scheme has so far suggested many practices are able to deliver their expected number of patients seen and treatments delivered or even exceed the required contract delivery but others have underdelivered. This was referenced in the evaluation of the first year of prototyping14 and the 2nd year evaluation of the scheme (2017-18) found a broadly similar pattern (which will be ready for publication at the end of the pre-election period).

As recommended in the first evaluation report, further practices have been taken into the scheme (27 practices joined between Oct 18 and April 19) and work undertaken to explore the issues. The further period of testing, alongside further probing of the detail of why some practices have achieved and others not, is needed to ensure a robust decision.”

37.While we strongly advocate evidence-based policy making, this pilot seems to be an extraordinarily protracted process and we would be unhappy to see any further proposals to extend the testing period beyond March 2022.

Police Appeals Tribunals Rules 2020 (SI 2020/I)

Police (Complaints and Misconduct) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/2)

Police (Performance) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/3)

Police (Conduct) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/4)

38.The Chapman Review15 made a number of proposals for the structural reform of the police discipline and complaints system to streamline procedures and to introduce greater accountability, transparency and independence to the system. The Government legislated for these changes in the Policing and Crime Act 2017, which these four instruments now follow up, replacing and revoking previous regulations to improve the procedures for dealing with allegations of police misconduct and underperformance. These regulations establish a reformed system for handling complaints about the police in England and Wales. They deal with police disciplinary matters and promote greater consistency between the processes followed by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC)16 and other investigations under Schedule 3 to the Police Reform Act 2002. For example, changes have been made to the investigation processes to make them simpler and therefore quicker, including a requirement to provide an explanation where investigations take longer than 12 months. The sanctions following a misconduct hearing have also been amended to reintroduce the sanction of reduction in rank, to allow for a more proportionate response to serious misconduct which does not justify dismissal, but which requires a harsher penalty than a final written warning.

11 Pages 18-19, 51st Report, Session 2017–19 (HL Paper 376).

12 The National Health Service (Primary Dental Services) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2011 (SI 2011/1182) in the Committee’s 31st Report of Session 2010-12 (HL Paper 147).

13 See, for example, the Committee’s 33rd Report, Session 2012-13 (HL Paper 153).

14 Department of Health and Social Care, Dental Contract Reform Evaluation of the first year of prototyping 2016-2017 (May 2018): [accessed 16 January 2020].

15 Home Office, Improving police integrity: reforming the police complaints and disciplinary systems (March 2015): [accessed 16 January 2020].

16 The IOPC replaced the Independent Police Complaints Commission in January 2018.

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