Simplyhealth Professionals recently conducted research** to discover dentists’ attitudes towards the NHS, potential contract changes and private dentistry.
Unsurprisingly, the top reason for joining Simplyhealth Professionals was cited as reputation. Our position as market leader and the additional services offered were named as the main reasons for choosing us.
Improved finances, earnings and being in more control of their business were the main reasons for introducing a payment plan in practice, with 45% of mainly private/fully private practices noticing a reduction in their stress levels.
The survey revealed that a huge 80% of mainly private practices said they don’t regret leaving the NHS with just 32% of NHS practices saying they will still be providing dentistry services within the NHS in 5 years’ time. NHS dentists are also less likely to feel in control of their business compared to mainly private practices.
Furthermore, 88% of NHS practices would be concerned if dental budgets fell in next 5 years and cited they are therefore more likely to leave the NHS. Falling budgets and income are the most important drivers away from the NHS for mainly NHS/mixed practices with only 4% of NHS practices said they would not leave the NHS.
With regards to income and earnings, only 6% of respondents said net income from NHS dentistry had increased and over half had noticed a fall in earnings. This correlates to the Dental Earnings and Expenses Estimate* which reported that income has been decreasing in England & Wales since 2006/07, with a fall of nearly 35% in real terms.
Further results of the Simplyhealth Professionals survey highlight concerns such as increased scrutiny of NHS contracts, decreased job satisfaction, increased stress levels and the fear of change.
*NHS Digital 2015/6 initial analysis 13 Sept 2017
**Simplyhealth Professionals NHS Survey Sept 2017, Base: 206 dentists