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Dental Estimates Board (Computer)

Volume 87: debated on Thursday 21 November 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether a decision has been reached on the replacement of the computer at the Dental Estimates Board.

We have authorised replacement of the Dental Estimates Board's present ICL computer. Consultants have advised the Board on the equipment needed both to maintain present systems and to provide a foundation for future developments. Because of the need for the new computer to support the present software in parallel with the development of new and improved systems the replacement computer is being purchased from ICL, and a contract for new hardware worth £2.2 million to be delivered progressively up to October 1986 was signed by the board on 15 November 1985. Together with software and services the total contract over five years will amount to £4 million.The new computer systems will enable dentists' claims for payment to be processed more efficiently and pave the way for future developments such as electronic transmission of claims. They should also improve the capacity of the board to monitor claims for any fraud and abuse by carrying out more routine checks automatically and enabling staff to concentrate on serious cases where there is cause for concern.Computer replacement and development at the board form a significant part of the wider strategy for using computers in family practitioner services administration. As this and other parts of the strategy are implemented, administrative efficiency in the family practitioner services will be increased and will provide a better base for further improvements in patient care.