Serious stuff or a Lamentable & Brazen attempt to kowtow to the big agencies?

Welcome back Easter bunnies.  All chocolated up and now getting used to these short weeks?  Make the most it. One more short week and that’s it until the summer!

Now look – while you were away those old statistical muckers Laing and Buisson threw their lot in and if you should care to part with “a grand”, they will let you see their report.  Strangely the digital version attracts the 20% VAT hit as compared with the printed copy. That was new to me

The state of the UK Dental Nation if you will.  

How well is dentistry doing? 

If ever the BDA have missed a trick it is serious market research of this sort. Their practice survey does not address the crucial issue of numbers that well, and the sterling work of commercial companies such as L & B surely puts the BDA to shame in that respect.  If you tend to rely upon the HMRC numbers as the Government does, it follows that the argument with the DH will at best be stale and at worst utterly ineffective.

Be that as it may.


Valid data or rhubarb?

What do we make of this L & B data?

A 22% reduction in  private practice?  Is it me? I just am not sure I believe the data – it simply is not the story one hears of ones travels. For sure times have been tough – but 20% plus? And if you re-calculate based on their 2010 numbers you could conclude they are suggesting the market shrank from £7.2bn to £5.8bn  - some 20% overall as well.

Now … is that excluding or including cosmetic dentistry ?  Because it is not clear.

Were you part of the survey that produced the financial data?  It would be useful to know what data was collected and how it was verified. Maybe a thread on the Forum?

We read:

The report publishes original key spending and activity statistics for the UK primary care dentistry sector derived from Laing & Buisson’s fourth  Survey of Primary Care Dental Practitioners carried out in late 2013 (endorsed by The Dental Fusion Organisation)

Perhaps I am not the only to read of this report with some suspicion that they have also fallen foul of how hard it is to get absolute data from dentistry. Increasingly this report is aimed I suspect at the men in red braces – be they from Carlyle or the DH.  It does little to affect what you on the ground will do or are experiencing

It does not look like the accountancy firms or their umbrella organisations were consulted for example.


So ... Define Mixed Practice ...

Perhaps the lesson is simple:

The mixed economy of NHS funded and patient funded dentistry will continue for most. It has to. It will I am sure change over time and we can discuss whether the BDA should be encouraging a slow detachment from government dependency [I think that is still their official policy].  

What the profession will need is, put simply,  strict and clear definition of what the Government is funding.  The GDPC must empower the development of practice as a business and in the contract changes coming down the line, strict definition of availability is critical to freeing up practices to develop their private practice income stream.

I would be nice to read a success story for private practice from L & B in 4 years, based upon robust data.

Over to you Dr A, and your GDPC.  Set your goals high - lets have an un-gameable contract ...  Perversely that may not be in the DH's interest of course but that's for another day, Dear Readers.

Happy days.