The magical money tree the chancellor of the exchequer has found planted out back at 11 Downing Street is undoubtedly saving many jobs in the UK.
Dentists working in a 100% NHS practice are thankful to be receiving virtually an unchanged income despite being unable to carry out any routine dentistry. However, the situation is somewhat different to their private dentistry counterparts.
For the most part they are offered no financial support. Very few dentists working within the practices are employed and most have an income level that exceeds the threshold for self employed support.
Practice overheads also continue to accrue, such as rent, bank loan payments and insurance. All whilst the practice is unable to earn any income. In the short term private practices and private associates face a considerable financial challenge.
We calls upon the government, the BDA and the Chief Dental Officer to consider a support package specifically tailored at the private dentistry market.
Provided private practices are able to weather the storm, the future may look brighter for them. When 'business as usual' returns to the sector we expect to see long waiting list at NHS practices. When waiting lists are longer than usual we often see more patients moving to a private dentistry setting. If private practices are forced to close then their ability to ease the pressure on NHS waiting times will be lost. Without them we are running the risk of a serious oral health crisis 12-18 months from now.
Whilst we are closed, most of the usual expenses will continue to go out of the business. We don’t really understand why we have been omitted from the benefits which have been offered to other businesses. We feel very let down