A recent report has revealed that almost 60% of dentists plan to leave the NHS within five years.
The survey, conducted by the British Dental Association (BDA), questioned its members on whether they were intending to increase the amount of private work they undertook, work overseas, retire or move out of dentistry altogether.
It found that 58% want to go private, move overseas, retire or quit the profession. Over half of those who want to leave the NHS are newly qualified and under the age of 35.
Many dentists say they are unhappy about the severe target-driven culture created by the new NHS dental contract introduced by the government in 2006. These tough targets and cost-cutting measures serve as yet more barriers to providing high quality service to patients.
We often hear the complaint from NHS dentists that they simply don’t have enough time to spend advising and treating patients. They say they are put under pressure and fined if they fail to achieve a minimum number of check-ups and procedures such as extractions.
Harman Chahal, chairman of the BDA’s young dentists committee, said he decided to leave NHS practice in April. “Young NHS dentists are being asked to make impossible choices. They are offered no reward for going above and beyond, just the constant threat of penalties for not hitting government targets. The contract has reduced patients to a line in a spreadsheet.”
Thanks to the changing employment landscape, there are now more opportunities than ever to work in private dentistry.
At Centre for Dentistry, we are passionate about making a difference in the dental industry. We want to make visits to the dentist accessible, welcoming and supportive. To achieve that we need exceptional teams of people for whom patient care remains the prime reason they elected to train in this industry in the first place.
We are “corporate” in the strict definition of the word – we have multiple practices in 24 towns and cities up and down the UK – but we don’t think like a corporate and we certainly don’t run the business through spreadsheets and cost cutting. Our focus is on two things – patients and the people who look after the patients. We believe that profit is simply a bi-product of supporting and looking after these two groups of people.