NHS to private dentistry
Looking to transition from NHS dentistry to private practice? You’ve come to the right place to ensure a smooth and successful conversion.
Experts in NHS conversions
At Patient Plan Direct, our team of conversion experts can support you throughout the process of a full or clinician-led conversion. We understand the uncertainty surrounding NHS to private dentistry. Rest assured, we have the expertise to make your transition seamless and successful.
We acknowledge that this is a significant decision, often accompanied by emotional considerations. We want you to know that we will be by your side every step of the way.
Watch this NHS to private dentistry conversion video summarising the support you’ll receive from Patient Plan Direct throughout your conversion journey.
- increase in conversion enquiries in the last two years
- dental practices supported by Patient Plan Direct nationwide
- years of combined conversion experience across our team
- years we’ve dedicated to NHS to private conversions
NHS to private dentistry in five steps
We have a proven method to determine whether an NHS to private conversion will significantly benefit you. Here’s a rundown of our effective 5-step transition process.
1. Viability analysis
We assess your practice dynamics, reviewing and considering specific indicators and areas that we know are key to a successful transition.
2. In-depth financial analysis
We advise you on an ideal plan structure and forecast the plan revenue required to replace your current NHS income (alongside private treatment income).
3. Team buy-in
We ensure the practice’s team is fully trained and engaged with the transition process and rationale for the change. Dental plans may be new territory for some, so it’s essential that everyone is fully on board.
4. Dental patient communications
We will manage the patient communication process, providing promotional materials and manage mailings to patients that clearly explains the change and their options.
5. Dental practice and ongoing support
In the early stages of the transition, we offer in-practice support via our expert team, who are on hand to deal with any queries, no matter how big or small.
We keep costs low without compromising on the quality of our services
Our low fees set us apart from other dental practice plan providers. Our highly focused service enables us to maintain lower administration fees than our rivals. Here’s how we achieve this:
- Transparent fee structure: You only pay for the services you receive, with no hidden or inflated charges
- No charges for unnecessary services: We won’t add on extra fees for services you may not require, such as compliance, telephone counselling, or accreditations – we focus on your specific dental practice plan needs and nothing else
- Our own marketing: Unlike competitors, we avoid overspending on our marketing campaigns or lavish client events. Keeping our marketing costs low ensures we can keep our fees low
- We’re not a huge corporate entity: We are a privately owned business with no vast overheads like other corporate entities.
Our commitment to cost-effective dental plan administration allows us to provide outstanding value while delivering exceptional service.
Why choose us?
Established in 2009, we’ve helped hundreds of practices across the UK achieve success with their practice dental plans at significantly less cost in comparison to other plan providers.
Our solution can boost your practice income.
Simple plan management in a few clicks.
We know what it takes to achieve plan success.
Our client retention rate is over 99%.
Global Dental Scheme
A&E cover for patients.
Choose your plans, and move at your pace.
Our success stories
Don’t take our word for it! Hear our clients share their experiences of working with Patient Plan Direct when converting from NHS to private dentistry.
Frequently Asked Questions about NHS to Private Conversion
To determine if transitioning from NHS to private dentistry is the right choice for your dental practice, we’ll schedule a discovery meeting with one of our highly experienced Business Development team members. Whether you want to make a full dental practice or a clinician-led conversion, we will conduct a thorough viability analysis and financial forecasting exercise. We’ll explore and assess certain indicators and areas that are key to a successful transition. Additionally, we’ll delve into your long-term goals and objectives to better understand your vision.
Ultimately, we ensure you have a clear idea of what the change and process are likely to look like and will always let you know if, for any reason, the transition is not advisable.
During our financial forecasting exercise, we will take information relating to your UDA’s (volume and value), how many hours per week each dental clinician works, your private fees, the number of fee-paying and exempt adult NHS patients you’ve seen in the last 24 months, as well as how many NHS children you see.
Based on this data, our calculator tool will recommend an optimal membership plan structure and target the number of patients to have on a dental practice plan to replace your current NHS income. Importantly, we’ll ensure adequate time to deliver treatments alongside routine care. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that the number of patients you need to retain is often lower than expected.
You must provide NHS England or your LAT (if in Wales) with a three-month notice, which must be submitted in writing. While things differ under the Scottish contract, we will clarify the optimal approach.
We will handle the patient communication process on your behalf, under your practice branding. Our team has developed tried-and-tested letter templates that will notify your patients of the upcoming changes. These letters provide a three-month notice period and clearly explain a patients’ options, making it as easy as possible for them to join one of your dental practice plans.
The letter can be tailored, allowing you to express your reasons and rationale for the change. Enclosed with the letter are promotional leaflets that comprehensively explain your plan offerings for both adults and children. Along with a Direct Debit mandate, which patients will need to complete and return to join your dental practice plan. We’ll also include a QR code in the letter, allowing patients to join online from the comfort of their homes.
We will organise a training session to ensure your team is fully prepared, trained, and engaged with the upcoming changes. The training will cover the rationale for the change unique to your dental practice and the potential patient questions or objections, equipping your team with effective responses.
Securing a children’s only NHS contract would require discussions with NHS England or NHS Wales area teams. In our experience, obtaining such a contract is unlikely, as practices are encouraged to offer equitable services without cherry-picking patients based on age.
We can offer guidance on setting up plans for children. You can start plan membership from a specific age, and may opt to offer free-of-charge preventative care for much younger children.
Our team will be by your side throughout the entire process, from the initial planning steps to training your team and being there once the news is communicated to patients. When letters are sent to patients, one or more of our team will be onsite at your dental practice in the early stages to help and support where necessary. We’re committed to ongoing support, including regular review meetings and team training, as and when required.
Yes, it’s possible for one (or more) dentists to initiate a ‘partial or clinician-led conversion’, retaining your NHS contract. This often involves the Principal or the longer-serving clinicians transitioning to private practice while other dentists continue seeing NHS patients. However, this type of conversion requires careful planning to explain the situation to patients and manage their expectations. It is less popular these days for various reasons, which our Business Development team can explain during an exploratory meeting.
During the transition period, it’s important to note that you must give patients and NHS England or the Welsh Health Board three-months notice to terminate your contract. Your usual NHS income will continue during this notice period. Afterward, you’ll start receiving a regular, guaranteed monthly income from your plan members and private treatment fees. The speed at which private income becomes significant depends on diary planning and the confidence of your clinicians in prescribing private treatments and discussing fees. Your Business Development Manager will provide detailed guidance on this matter. We also recommend informing your bank and accountant of the changes you are making in the practice.
When running a viability report for a practice in Scotland, we take all the following into account:
- The gross earnings for the clinician or practice seen from NHS delivery (with items of service) in the last 12 months
- Any private income generated from upgrades to treatment from patients registered under the NHS
- Any general practice allowance, rent rebates or other financial support seen from NHS Scotland
- Any other relevant income that may be specific to the NHS contract/practice that needs to be replaced as part of the conversion
We support the practice/clinician to ensure notice of deregistration is given to patients to ensure they fulfil the requirements of the NHS income.
As Scottish practices are only paid for what they deliver, it is easier to support partial conversions where practices may still wish to see children under the NHS. This can often be a useful middle ground for parents and optimises the dental plan uptake for adult patients.
We work with the practice to ensure all income seen from the NHS, in its various forms, is accounted for in the initial viability assessments, and we also support practices to ensure they fulfil any contractual requirements – such as notice of deregistration – to prevent any unnecessary delay/fall out to the conversion process.
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