An NHS to private conversion success story

Ian Mills explains why the conversion from NHS to private was right for him in 2006, and the importance of looking at the success of other practices when considering options outside of the NHS.

Frustration with the UDA system was the prime motivator for dentist, Ian Mills, to leave the NHS for private practice. Having tried to work within the constraints of the updated contract in 2006, he found himself concluding that he would not be able to treat his patients in the way he wanted to under its terms. So he made the decision to leave NHS dentistry.

Despite his belief that leaving NHS dentistry was the right thing to do, Ian felt anxious prior to the move. How would his staff react to the change? Would sufficient patients remain with him? Would he be subject to a backlash and vilification in the press?

However, he pushed on. He found that support he received from everyone around him, including Practice Plan, made the process easier than he expected.

Changing landscape of conversion to private practice

Almost two decades on from his own conversion, Ian feels the landscape for dentists considering private practice has changed drastically. He acknowledges that a conversion is still a big step for a practice to take and is likely to be a source of apprehension and anxiety for dentists.

But the prospects now of good patient uptake of plan membership are greater due, in part to the issue of access. He feels patients are becoming pragmatic and more receptive to conversations about private dentistry.

He urges practices to ensure their communication about the change is authentic and honest about their reasons for converting. Most importantly, they should focus on the benefits to patients rather than the practice.

His advice to anyone wavering over this type of decision is to look around at other practices that have made the move and witness their success. It’s easier to make a successful conversion now than ever before, he claims.

If you’re considering your options away from the NHS and are looking for a provider who will hold your hand through the process while 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 at

For more information visit the Practice Plan website:

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