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Business suicide: At the cross-roads for NHS dentistry

Blog Author Anonymous

Blog Date 06/05/2016

​The 2006 NHS dental contract has changed my working life dramatically for the worse. Both I and my patients are confused as to who we are obliged to see.

 

How do you define clinical capacity? My defence organisation says that I must see all patients and not give priority to my regular attenders, which sounds like business suicide to me and a sure way to lose goodwill.

I like to think that I am an ethical dentist which makes this contract difficult to work under. I have always given my staff an annual pay rise and I pass on the Government's uplifts to my associates.

 

But with the consistent rise in overheads and costs of regulation I have seen my personal income take a dramatic nose dive over the last few years, to the point where this is becoming unsustainable.

 

I feel I am at a cross-roads as to how to develop my practice. If I were near retirement age I would seriously consider leaving and taking the reduced retirement benefits. I am still at least 10 years short of this option

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The UDA system is obviously not fit for purpose and causes untold stress at this time of year as we try to hit our targets. I understand that finances are tight at the moment for everyone but I hope that the Department of Health take this golden opportunity to develop a system fair for all the parties involved. However, I no longer have any confidence in them.

 

I have been qualified for 25 years and every change in NHS contracts always brings the same doom and gloom comments from dentists, but overall we have always prevailed and I have largely enjoyed my career and been proud to be a staunch NHS dentist.

 

The current system is taking this away from me and has produced far and away the worst period of my working life. I have always fully supported the ethos of the NHS and am saddened by the current state of it.

I really, really don't want to turn my back on it, but to work ethically under its current regulations and make a fair and honest profit is becoming untenable.

 

Anonymous, Practice Owner

 

Dental contract reform

We are campaigning for a dental contract that puts prevention first - find out what the issues are and what we have been calling for.