The decision for us to convert to private dentistry was made back in 2006, after the introduction of the latest NHS contract. We signed the contract as many did, but soon realised it was unworkable for us due to the structure of the contract, the UDA target and the UDA value. It very quickly became apparent that without seriously compromising ourselves, the targets were unachievable, and it was a very stressful time.
We took the time to look at our options outside of the NHS including plan providers, and unanimously decided that Practice Plan would suit us perfectly. There was no hard-sell, the Regional Support Manager visited us and explained everything that the conversion would entail, good and bad, and even took the time to research and check if a conversion would be appropriate and if it would even suit our practice.
What’s great about Practice Plan is that they were, and still are, incredibly adaptable to our practice needs. When deliberating the conversion, we discussed our goals and a priority was to have a similar income, but with much less stress and more control of our treatment plans. Practice Plan took this all on board. Our Regional Support Manager collected various data, such as patient numbers and financial details, and we were advised of likely patient numbers, how many we would expect to lose and they actually worked out the costs of monthly plans and registration plans accordingly so we knew what to expect before we even signed up.
The conversion itself was better than expected! The two weeks following the announcement were difficult, because of all the enquiries, but they were literally just enquiries, rather than angry patient calls which we were concerned about. Converting to private dentistry has now given us all more time with patients, we can offer different treatments without regard to the rules and regulations of the NHS. The plan provides us with a regular monthly income and our patients feel bonded to the practice.
The support we receive from all of the Practice Plan team is fantastic, however in particular we find Sarah Barnard, our Regional Support Manager, very helpful especially when she was actually in the practice for the conversion. That was very useful and even now, ten years later, she continues to regularly liaise with our practice manager and provide the one to one support we need.
Overall, we would recommend Practice Plan to other dentists because of the flexibility of the plans. There is help and back-up in many areas if you require it, but we feel that we are still in charge, so you get the best of both worlds.
If you’re thinking about the possibility of a future outside the NHS, just evaluating your options can help! For an informal chat about how we can help you to do that, call 01691 684165 or download our FREE Guide to Leaving the NHS.