Private practice profits grow while NHS profits remain stagnant

Private practice

The latest NASDAL figures have shown a jump in private practice profits

Average profits for private practices have jumped over the last year, while NHS profits have stagnated.

The National Association of Specialist Dental Accountants and Lawyers’ (NASDAL’s) latest figures show that the average private practice profits per principal have jumped to £140,129 in the year ending 5 April 2015, compared with £130,613 the year before.

This is in contrast to NHS practices, where the figures show average practice profits per principal have only marginally increased to £129,265, compared with £129,054 the year before.

‘All types of practice have seen a sustained recovery in profitability,’ Ian Simpson, chartered accountant and a partner in Humphrey and Co, which carries out the statistical analysis, said.

‘The typical private practice profit exceeds NHS practice profit by approximately £10,000 and this is likely to be due to private practices having greater control over their income than NHS practices.

‘Costs seem to be static across all practices.’

Private overtakes NHS

Private practice profits per principal just overtook NHS profits in 2014 for the first time since 2006.

In 2014 NASDAL worked out NHS profits to be £129,054, while private profits were £130,613, and the 2015 figures have shown a growing difference between the two types of practice.

‘It is positive to see that the UK dental market has continued to grow at a rate of around 4.4% with relatively unchanged costs and a prolonged recovery in profitability,’ Nick Ledingham, chairman of NASDAL, said.

Associate profits

Associate profits have remained relatively stationary in 2015 at £68,024 compared with £68,544 in 2014.

Ian Simpson described the £520 difference ‘likely to be due to increasing insurance and subscription costs’.

The average unit of dental activity (UDA) rates for NHS practices remained relatively stable at around £26.50, while the average UDA rates paid to associates in 2015 was £10.75, down from £11.23 in 2014.

The annual Benchmarking Survey statistics are gathered from NASDAL members across the UK to provide an average ‘state of the nation’.

The sample size for the statistics included 600 practices (which equated to 650 principals) and 600 associates.

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