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Dental accountants will be watching with interest to see the outcome of a case taking place north of the border in Scotland.

NHS Scotland’s Practitioner Services Division had planned to claim back around £3 million from Scottish dental practitioners.

This could impact about 7,000 dentists, and arises from NHS Scotland’s concerns about duplicate registration records.

However, the British Dental Association’s Scottish Dental Practice Committee argues that this duplication is most likely to have arisen following the Scottish Government’s 2010 decision – against the wishes of the industry – to introduce non-time-limited registration of patients.

“That move was vehemently opposed by SDPC, which warned that it would do nothing to encourage regular visits to the dentist or to improve oral health,” says the BDA.

The BDA has now succeeded in having the £3 million clawback postponed – however, the legal challenge continues.

Although there may be no directly equivalent issue for English dentists at present, dental accountants on both sides of the border will be watching the continuation of the case closely, particularly if any decisions are made in court that could set a legal precedent for future similar disputes anywhere in the UK.