The management team at Moody Terrace Dental Practice Ltd decided they wanted to create a more positive future which, for them, meant leaving the NHS to go private. Here, practice manager Rachael Dodd shares the story behind what they did and how Practice Plan supported them.
Although the two principal dentists at the practice, Adam and Nick had concerns about how the change would be perceived by the team and their patients, and along with worries about how they would replace the guaranteed income their NHS contract offered, they knew they had to take the leap to create a better working environment and offer the treatment and quality of care they felt their team and patients deserved.
They’d heard that implementing a membership plan into the practice would offer a regular income and encourage patients to attend regularly. They also wanted something that would bond their patients to the practice – after all, they had great relationships with most of their patient base – so that’s when we started our search for a plan provider.
Implementing the plan
We had meetings with representatives from different plan providers but Josie Hutchings from Practice Plan stood out. We felt that she and Practice Plan really understood what we wanted to achieve and took the time to understand our motivations for the move.
We liked how they spoke about working with us to implement the plan, so we were still in the driving seat and felt much more comfortable with branding the plan to the practice, because this meant we could continue to build on the relationship we already had with our patients.
Josie carried out a thorough financial analysis to ensure a plan was a viable option for us and everything else went at our pace – we had as many meetings and asked as many questions as we felt we needed and Josie never pushed us in to making a decision – which we really appreciated.
Once we were confident this was the right way forward for us, we started planning our next steps and figuring out the best way to let the team know. We were worried about how they would react but Josie was with us all the way, helping us prepare for any questions we might get asked.
Fully behind the decision
The team were initially hesitant because they hadn’t experienced working within a private dentistry environment.
However, once Adam and Nick had taken them through their rationale for making the change, told them what was going to happen over the next few months and that they would ensure the team were fully prepared for the change, they got fully behind the decision.
Josie delivered the team training, sharing some useful tips for being confident in promoting the membership plan to patients. She scripted the answers to many of the questions our patients may ask so we had them to hand.
The conversion was, without a doubt, a hugely busy period for us, but because of the thorough training we had received we were happy with the progress.
Since converting, Adam and Nick’s concerns over losing their NHS income have completely vanished as this has now been replaced with a regular income of the membership plan. Plus, any concerns they initially had around our patients’ perception to the change quickly disappeared too.
To our relief, the introduction of the plan was well received by the vast majority of our patients, firstly because they liked the idea of seeing and building a relationship with the same dentist, and secondly because they found the idea of being able to spread out the cost of their treatment very attractive.
Overall, we can honestly say that the support of Josie and the team at Practice Plan has been great, not only back in the days when we parted ways with the NHS but we still receive the same level of guidance and support today – something we find of great benefit to us and our patients.
Practice Plan is a specialist provider of practice-branded patient membership plans and an increasingly significant source of wider business support services for dentistry. So, whether you’re planning a conversion from the NHS, introducing a dental plan into an established practice or looking to change from another plan provider, Practice Plan can help you take your practice where you want it to go.
Over the years, it has helped thousands of dentists introduce membership plans and develop business strategies. Access to regional support managers, customer service advisers and expert marketers as well as dental business consultants and speakers, means a practice will get practical and strategic advice to help them achieve their unique goals.