DENTAL patients in Colne are set to be among the first in the country to trial the new ways of working for dentists.

Skipton Road Dental Surgery in is one of only 29 practices to be shortlisted by the Department of Health to join a pilot programme launched in April.

Practices have been trialling a new self-care plan based on a ‘traffic light’ system.

This gives patients a rating of green, amber or red following an oral health assessment.

They are then given advice on how to improve their dental health in the long term. Barry Cockcroft, Chief Dental Officer for England, said: “I am delighted to welcome this practice to the pilot scheme and know they will continue with the excellent work which has been carried out so far.

“Improving oral health across the country is our priority and it is great to have so many practices that are keen to play such an important role.”

Another national change planned is in the way dentists are paid so they are rewarded for the number of patients they care for and the health results they produce, rather than the number of courses of treatment they perform.