One of the recurring themes of the recent Confidence Monitor survey that Practice Plan carried out among dentists was that NHS dentists believe their future is in the hands of a government that they don’t feel has their best interests at heart.
For the survey, both NHS and private dentists answered a variety of questions asking how they feel about working in the profession. They were also given the option of writing down how they feel. Many of the NHS dentists expressed disillusionment in the government’s intentions and feeling they were being left with little option about their future.
As an example, some of the comments said: ‘I feel there is pressure from NHS England on dentists to leave NHS dentistry. Dentists aren’t supported to remain…I don’t so much plan to leave the NHS but feel I will be pushed to it over the next five years.’, ‘I really think general practice will have no financial incentive to remain in the NHS very soon, and that is a very deliberate long-term ploy by successive governments to push us out, where the blame will lie with greedy dentists’, and ‘I know so many dentists driven out of the country to seek work abroad, leaving behind loyal patients, friends and family, because they have been forced into this move by the diabolical UDA contract.’
Looking through the comments there is a real sense that NHS dentists really do not feel they are in charge of their own future, and that they are being ‘pushed out’ of the NHS, and potentially out of the profession as a whole. Given this, I asked Alun Rees, a former practice owner turned business coach: How can NHS dentists take more control over their practice’s future?Read More