The reasons behind the move away from NHS Dentistry

After 35 years working within the NHS the practice has made the difficult decision to leave next year. As a patient you will already have a letter with the basic information on the practicalities, however we felt it worthwhile trying to give a little more background here on ‘why’, that would be too much to put in that letter.

Link to a copy of the letter (opens new window)

Basically there are many positives for you as patients & the practice that far outweigh staying with the NHS as it declines in our opinion.

Benefits to you as patients-

  • You will actually be registered with us, unlike the NHS where you are not.

  • We can guarantee to be able to see you as you are registered with us.

  • In an emergency we will have time to see you at short notice, whatever your problem.

  • Out of hours emergency cover is provided locally & by us or a local dentist on a rota.

  • Emergency cover at weekends & bank holidays provided locally

  • We will have time to care for you as a person, not a number on a spreadsheet

  • You will have ‘all’ the available treatment options available to choose from, not just those the NHS regulations limit you to.

  • Denplan specifically allows you to budget for your care & gives you national/international holiday cover.

Benefits to the practice-

  • Significantly less paperwork & administration which is time taken away from treating you.

  • Less restrictions on the types of treatment we can provide for you.

  • Care NOT driven by targets but by your need.

  • Time to practice preventative dentistry, not just ‘fix’ what’s broken.

  • Ability to invest in cutting edge training & technology.

Having ‘stuck it out’ with the current NHS contract which came in back in 2006, when registration was abolished, we feel now is the time to move on.

With the ever rising NHS dental fees & the crumbling infrastructure behind the scenes that you don’t see as patients, the time has come to call it a day and move forward. Firstly to be able to provide you with the level of care we have always sought to provide for you in the past under the NHS, but secondly what you deserve (and better) in the future as technology outpaces NHS funding.

NHS dentists are not funded in the same way as NHS doctors’ practices are. We do not get any payment for all the patients we have on a so called ‘list’, regardless of whether we see you or not (there simply is no registration with an NHS dental practice as there is with doctors) we are simply ‘targeted’ to produce a given number of treatment courses each month/year.

The time taken to produce these NHS targets is constantly being reduced to break even, & yes, dental practices are individual business’.

Unlike doctors surgeries that can/are being propped up financially by ‘health authorities’, if an individual dental business is unable to maintain staffing & retain/recruit dentists due to its inability to provide an attractive working environment, it will simply fail & close. Locally there have been perfect examples of this.