NHS practices falling in value

NHSNHS practices have continued a downward trend, with an average goodwill value of 118% of gross fees.

This is down from a high of 224% of gross fees in the quarter ending 31 July 2018.

‘The fact that NHS practice values have now seen three consecutive quarters of reduction in value, does seem to suggest that it is now potentially a trend rather than a blip,’ Alan Suggett, specialist dental accountant and partner in UNW LLP, said.

‘Perhaps in these particularly politically uncertain times, what once looked like a safe, long-term bet is less attractive?

‘Government-backed promises are not what they were.

‘Valuations have stayed quite steady for the last year.

‘It seems the market is less turbulent than it was a couple of years ago.’

Average values

Practice valuations are beginning to level out, according to the latest NASDAL quarterly goodwill survey.

Average goodwill values levelled out at 126% of turnover, despite deals completed seeing a sharp rise to 133%.

Fully private practices experienced average goodwill values of 127% of gross fees with mixed practices valued at 108%.

‘There has been a good deal of “corporate dumping” in recent times,’ Alan continued.

‘Typically when the corporate has been unable to fulfil NHS contracts, usually due to associate recruitment difficulties.

‘This impact of some practices being sold at a discount has meant the average goodwill value has been pulled down.’

Rising costs

Latest NASDAL annual reports show a decrease of 3% in net profits for a typical dental practice.

Whilst income for NHS and private practices has increased, there has been an increase in expenses – notably associates’ costs.

Rising costs have seen total expenses hit an average of 70.1% of fees across all practice types for the year.

‘Although profits are down across all types of practices, it is clear that there is a big divide between private practices and those that are NHS and mixed,’ Ian Simpson, chartered accountant and a partner in Humphrey and Co, said.

‘Private practices saw a reduction in profit of just 0.5%.

‘Whereas both NHS and mixed practices saw reductions of around 10%.

‘Interestingly, mixed practices typically have the highest level of fee income, but they also have the highest cost ratios.’

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Comments (4)

This message is addressed to the whole world to stand up for the problems overseas dentists in the UK are facing. To get licensed in the UK as a dentist, one must pass the overseas registration exam (ORE). This exam constitutes of 2 parts that must be completed within the duration of 5 years after attempting part 1.

Every overseas dentist in the UK can stand up and support me in saying that the process to book part 2 of the exam is absolutely obscene. The exam is held 3 times every year. The opportunity to book the upcoming exam is available 6 weeks to 2 months before the exam and the time and date are provided to us for the booking to open 2 weeks beforehand. There are over 1000 candidates each time, sitting and waiting by their computer to press that “book” button on the website as it appears. only 144 seats are available for the exam and as can be expected the exam gets fully booked in less than a second.

I am absolutely sure such a system does not exist anywhere in the world. Even in the UK other professions like doctors are given more opportunity to sit their licencing exams. I believe this system is very stressful and may even be against some human rights.

I have personally attempted to book this exam 3 times in a row and have lost over 1 year just trying to progress with my career on the basis of getting this exam. I am being kept away from my family in UK and am unemployed and my license to practice in UK is withheld simply because of a button. My unemployment is affecting my credentials and making me an unfavorable candidate for any organization to hire. I have used a lot of time money and effort every time i have attempted to book and i am sure there are a lot of other overseas dentists out there like me and probably in a much worse position who are having their life kept at hold simply because of a button.


My solution to the problem may be that the general dental council could increase the number of seats available per exam and increase the number of times the exam is held per year to make the system more just and fair to all dentists in the world. Everyone deserves an opportunity to give this exam whenever they want.

I’m sorry to hear of your personal situation but purely from a British dentists point of view, I’m happy that the system is so strict. Any dentist coming from overseas really needs to be at the same standard as a uk graduate otherwise poor quality dental care will put patients at risk

I concur with George. At the end of the day, the whole system is set up to protect patients. Even British dentists have to go through a difficult process to get back onto the GDC register and NHS performers list if they leave to work abroad for a short period. Furthermore, the system is also partly there, although increasingly less so thanks to corporate interests, to protect the British workforce from downward pressure on wages. If I am unable to walk into the USA, Singapore, Japan or Australia and practice seamlessly, I see no reason why dentists from other parts of the world including the EU should have the right to migrate to the UK without restriction. That just seems unfair and unbalanced. Graduates have just walked out of dental school into one of the most competitive job markets ever, so much so some young dentists couldn’t find jobs. Thankfully, this is now beginning to reverse but it illustrates how an oversupply of dental staff may affect our existing and up and coming dental teams.

Hi Jerry, I totally understand your situation. thou I am not a dentist I am a computer guy and helped my dentist friend book that examine by using my skills, Yes it gets booked immediately.

Get a skilled person to help you with this.
Next there are certain section in the part 2 like diagnosis n treatment planning that candidates fail frequently, find a person who has just passed the exam recently to help you with this. A MUST.

My advice to get a job dental nursing
Because your next challenge after part 2 is your NHS performer number which you can get only after a VT and VTE position.

So find practices that do VT and try your best to do dental nursing atm with them.
Get really really good at networking.

Sadly many dentists are really bad at networking, and worst of all nobody what’s to help another. This is the most disgusting thing I have noticed among dentists.

After VT one year you will get a performer number that’s good to do NHS dentistry.

After part 2 you can do private dentistry but nobody will ever give you a private job without few years of NHS dentistry.

I have read the comments above.
About UK dentistry standards, I have seen with my own eyes the candidates passing from the best dental schools coming to the work environment,
They lack confidence and scared even when it comes to do simple procedures.

My opinion and observations aside.
I wish you the very best, and remember you fix people’s teeth you fix their smile you fix their life.

Don’t give up.. you are closer then you think.

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