Rise in number of unhappy dentists planning to leave the NHS

Rise in number of unhappy dentists planning to leave the NHS

The number of dentists that don’t see themselves working within the NHS in five years’ time has increased by 16% since last year, according to a new survey. The sixth Confidence Monitor survey by Practice Plan has found that 86% of NHS dentists don’t see themselves in the NHS by 2023, compared to 70% who answered the same question in last year’s survey.

Of those who intend to leave the NHS, 48% said they were planning to move to private dentistry, 28% are looking to retire and 24% want to change profession entirely.

A deeper look into the results reveals some possible reasons for these figures. Once again, the survey showed that the majority of those working in the NHS are unhappy about seven aspects of their working life they were asked about. For example, 91% didn’t feel as if they had enough time to manage patient expectations, 94% didn’t feel fairly remunerated for their work and 91% didn’t feel able to carry out their work without feeling overly stressed.

This is in contrast to private dentists who were asked how happy they felt about the same aspects compared to when they worked in the NHS – 91% felt happier they have enough time to manage patient expectations, 88% felt fairly remunerated and 71% felt able to carry out their work without being overly stressed.

Joe Hendron, an NHS dentist and owner of a former prototype practice, said, ‘these results are shocking but the UDA contract is bad for patients and bad for dentistry. The capped budget for dentistry restricts career progression and makes it more difficult for associates to become practice owners, as does the recent increase in control of practices by corporate businesses. This will challenge the retention of dentists in the profession.’

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