Referrals by professionals in Somerset

General clinical treatment acceptance criteria

We provide dental treatment for patients within Somerset who fall into one of the following categories, which will determine their treatment options and recall pattern:

  • Regular patients; who are not able to be managed in the General Dental Services for the foreseeable future, for reasons outlined below
  • Limited Course patients; who are planned to return at some stage to GDS
  • Referral patients; who are referred for one treatment but who maintain a GDS practitioner. Please see notes below.
  • UDS patients; unregistered casual patients
  • Emergency patients; registered casual patients

Regular Patients

Those patients who are likely to be unable to access, accept or receive appropriate treatment from General Dental Services.  Patients in this group include patients with:-

  • Learning difficulties
  • Motor disability  problems
  • Behavioural problems
  • Social  problems
  • Debilitating mental health problems
  • Elderly mentally infirm
  • Patients who are totally housebound and require domiciliary services
  • Chronic medical conditions which severely complicate dental treatment and/or are compromised by poor dental health.
  • Conditions of the face and jaws requiring additional support for whom good oral health care may be essential

Limited Course Patients

Those patients who cannot currently access care from GDS but who may in the future be expected to do so.  These include:-

  • Children of non-attending families with high caries rates
  • Children at risk of dental neglect for social reasons
  • Patients with medical conditions which may temporarily compromise activity

Referral Patients

The provision of specialised dental treatment on patients who are referred to the PCDS for a course or individual item of treatment outside the skills of the referring dentist that may be required to meet their specific needs, but who remain a patient of the referring dentist.  These include:-

  • Single intervention extractions for children using sedation or GA (use referral Form B)
  • Patients requiring minor oral surgery outside of the scope of  a primary care dental practitioner (use referral Form A)
  • Single intervention treatment such as simple extractions or course of treatment for teenagers or adults, using sedation or other patient management techniques (use referral Form B)
  • Paediatric dental care, especially behavioural management, to complete a course of treatment (use referral Form B)

The above lists of patient types are not exhaustive and there will always be some grey areas.

Referrals in Somerset

  • Dentists should use either Form A (for surgical procedures only) or Form B (for other referrals as outlined below) which must be sent via the Referral Management Centre (address on the form).
  • Please ensure the referral form is completed correctly and all required attachments are sent, including radiographs and FP17RN forms.
  • Non-dental colleagues such as Health Visitors, Social Workers or Doctors can refer to the appropriate Dental Access Centre by letter.
  • The acceptance criteria for Primary Care Dental Service patients are set out below for your guidance

Somerset Minor Oral Surgery Referral Service

For information about minor oral surgery please follow see the attached Referral Protocol.