Dentistry’s biggest questions answered

Answers to some of dentistry's biggest questions could be found at the Dental Business Theatre. Are you struggling to recruit and retain good staff? Are you thinking about leaving the NHS and moving into private practice? Is your practice being affected by the cost-of-living crisis?

Are you struggling to recruit and retain good staff? Are you thinking about leaving the NHS and moving into private practice? Is your practice being affected by the cost-of-living crisis?

Questions, questions, questions!

We all know what some of the problems are in dentistry at the moment, but what are the solutions? You may find some of them at the Dental Business Theatre located within the British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show (BDCDS) at the NEC in Birmingham on 12 and 13 May.

Once again, the Dental Business Theatre is being programmed by Practice Plan. This year, the aim is to not only pose some of the biggest questions in dentistry, but also to answer them.

Industry-renowned speakers

Six sessions will be held over both days. Panels include industry-renowned names such as dental business coaches, Chris Barrow and Lucie Simic, along with sustainability expert, Mark Topley. The speakers will answer questions on subjects including how to attract great staff members, and keep your current team happy.

Whereas, chair of the GDPC at the BDA, Shawn Charlwood, head of indemnity at the BDA and practising dentist, Len D’Cruz, along with Practice Plan sales and marketing director, Nigel Jones, will discuss arguably the biggest question at the moment: ‘Is there a future for NHS dentistry?’.

Significantly, Shawn Charlwood’s views are likely to be informed by his recent experience of providing evidence to the Health and Social Care Select Committee’s inquiry into NHS dentistry.

‘As I told the committee, this really is a make-or-break moment for NHS dentistry,’ he said. ‘The tweaks we’ve seen to a failed contract will not halt the mass exodus of dentists or restore access for millions. At the very same time, dentists in mixed or wholly private practice will face real pressure as the result of the cost-of-living crisis. It’s an invidious position and colleagues should tread carefully and join us for the key debate of conference.’

Experts on hand

How best to go about the recruitment and retention of staff throws up big questions for practice owners and managers. Sustainability expert, Mark Topley, believes the answers can be found by moving away from the traditional focus on hourly rates and percentage splits to methods that chime with what potential employees value in their lives.

‘Post-pandemic, what people look for from an employer has changed,’ Mark states. ‘Good associate dentists and dental nurses are in demand so, to stand out from the crowd, practices need to do more than just keep offering higher rates of pay.

‘That just sets up a bidding war and gets everybody nowhere. In my session, Chris Barrow, Lucie Simic, Emma Anastasi and I hope to show you what other things you need to do to be able to attract the right team members for your business and, more importantly, for them to want to stay with you.’

For anyone inspired by the sessions in the Dental Business Theatre who wants to find out more about making the move from NHS to private, or to switch plan provider, Practice Plan regional support managers will be available on Stand K50 to talk about how to go about making the move. Also, colleagues from Wesleyan Financial Services will be available to advise on ensuring your income is protected as a private dentist.

If you’re unable to come to the BDCDS and would like to find out more about your options away from the NHS and are looking for a provider who will hold your hand through the process whilst moving at a pace that’s right for you, why not start the conversation with Practice Plan on 01691 684165, or book your one-to-one NHS to private call today?

For more information visit the Practice Plan website:

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