Articles, Dentistry

Make dentist visits like a shopping trip

My eyes were drawn to a recent article in The Times with the headline: ‘Make visits to the dentist more like a supermarket trip’.

Conjures up images, doesn’t it?

Perhaps some BOGOF, buy one filling, get one free.

No, we already have that, it's called a UDA (unit of dental activity).

The article quoted Bill Moyes, chairman of the General Dental Council (GDC), who saw his role as providing patients with information to assess their dentists.

What he actually said was: 'I'd like to see patients making the same amount of noise about dentistry as they do about groceries.

'If patient pressure produced in dentistry the "Lidl to Waitrose" model, with all the small retailers in the middle, I’d be very, very pleased.'

He added: 'No one’s suggesting Lidl’s standards are any less than Waitrose.

'Food hygiene, safety, all of those things.

'Lidl’s cheap and cheerful.

'That’s fine because there’s a market for that.

'And there’s a strong market for Waitrose.'

So perhaps he was saying that the NHS was Lidl and the private sector was Waitrose.

The problem is that dental patients expect a Waitrose quality service for Lidl prices.

And what will Mr Moyes say when they complain to the GDC about not receiving the service they want?

As the BDA’s (British Dental Association) John Milne said in the article: 'To regard dental care purely as a market is too simplistic.'

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