If you’re currently providing NHS dentistry, you’re probably feeling the stress and pressure of a system that often feels as though it is working against the dentists providing the service.
However, being in this position can feel uncertain, should you stick it out and see what the new contract will bring, or is it time to consider moving towards a more private practice?
Why should you consider moving towards private practice?
- Thanks to the rise in the cost of NHS dental services, more than 300 practices across the UK are now being paid less per UDA than the patient charge. According to the BDA: ‘Based on current contracts the BDA estimates the government will generate over £40 million in profits by the time of the next general election from an ever growing number of NHS practices. A quarter of all NHS dental practices are on track to collect more from patients than government pays them to provide care by 2022.’
- Clawback jumped from £55m to £81m in one year in England, while in Wales it doubled to £6.6m. Those are whopping figures, and clawback is most certainly something that concerns every dentist working under the NHS; the last thing you want is to have to pay money back in addition to feeling underpaid!
- Hiring (and retaining) associates is more challenging than ever before, creating pressure to increase the level of pay to attract the right candidates. This, of course, is hitting those all-important bottom-line profits.
- There are widespread reports of dentists being generally unhappy about the target-driven culture of the NHS. In all likelihood, you didn’t go into the dental profession to chase sales and targets, your motivation was to practise effective healthcare and earn a good salary for providing excellent patient care.
- The introduction of a new contract to replace the UDA system is dragging on and on, leaving dentists facing a level of uncertainty that is just not acceptable. Some practices with NHS contracts worth in excess of £1m are choosing to give up them up entirely… Surely this is the writing on the wall?
- Practice sale agents are reporting that private practice values are rising and becoming increasingly more attractive to potential buyers over the predominately NHS practices. If you want to end up with a dental practice that is worth considerably more when the time comes to sell, it seems that a private practice is a far more desirable prospect.
What should you do?
This is just a snapshot of some of the reasons why many dentists are turning their backs on NHS dentistry, the list most certainly goes on… But fear not, the future does not have to look bleak, unprosperous, unattractive or unsustainable – you can take control!
At Patient Plan Direct, we speak to hundreds of dentists who are in this exact position, wanting to move towards private dentistry but who have the usual concerns around the reaction of patients and the impact on profits. Our business development managers will work closely with your entire dental team to help you to introduce practice-branded patient plans that are built for your patients and your practice. These help to boost patient loyalty by making treatment more cost-effective, while also creating a consistent revenue stream for the practice, making it the perfect starting point for your move towards private practice.
If you would like to know more about the ways in which we could help you, give us a call on 0844 848 6888.