As part of the recently announced contract reform engagement exercise, the Government has confirmed there would be no additional budget for the NHS, despite the continuing intention to provide a higher quality service to a wider percentage of the population. Squaring that circle will be a challenge and it’s not surprising that anxiety about the future will grow among NHS dentists. It’s no wonder then that a growing number are beginning the search for less dependence on the NHS and will feel more able to consider the merits of a life in a largely private practice.
With so many friends and local colleagues already making the step and, having weathered the economic storms of the past few years, look set for a bright future, the appeal of a private practice looks set to grow. Indeed, if given a ‘magic wand’ guarantee of a successful move towards independence from the NHS, many would make the move without hesitation. What stops dentists making this decision? Reasons can be varied, but ultimately come down to the perceived risk too many patients will be lost in the transition.