Private dentists feeling optimistic about 2021

Private dentistryA new survey from FMC shows private dentists are expecting to carry out more treatment going into this year.

When asked whether they see themselves doing more or less private treatment, 58% say they believe they will do more.

And around 51% of private dentists believe they’ll invest in software of high technology equipment to improve their treatments.

‘It’s clear that there is renewed optimism amongst private dentists going into 2021,’ Julian English, editor of Private Dentistry magazine, says.

‘And rightfully so. Although the first lockdown was an unprecedented experience for everyone, the ingenuity within dentistry really shone through. Many practices came out stronger.

‘There are certainly new opportunities available that patients and practices are a lot more accepting of in a post-COVID world.’

Crazy NHS targets

The move to grow private dentistry comes at a time when the NHS is slowly increasing targets for dental practices.

Just before Christmas, chief dental officer Sara Hurley announced that from 1 January to 31 March 2021, practices delivering 45% of their contracts will be seen to have delivered full contracted volume.

Prior to this, NHS practices were delivering 20% of their targets to receive payments.

‘What the government said to us 10 days before Christmas was that for January, February and March, we are giving you back your targets to hit,’ Niloy Karia told Iain Dale on LBC recently.

‘They’ve said we have to hit 45% of our monthly target in order to maintain the income they’re paying us. It’s almost impossible.

‘We’re only probably doing 30% of our targets but [feel like we’re doing] 110% of the work. We have to triage, they [patients] ask COVID-19 questions. It takes time to bring them into the surgery, do all the sanitisation, and get them to fill out all their legal forms.

‘Then we do treatment, we have to deep clean. We’ve gone into tier four before Christmas, we’re now effectively in tier five.

‘They’re almost encouraging dentists to bring patients out of their homes during this pandemic just so we can hit a target. Doesn’t that sound crazy to you?’

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