6 minutes reading time (1147 words)

Do you want to leave the NHS?

Not a week goes by when we meet another dentist who feels trapped in the current NHS system. The continuous issue of clawback, a backlog of patients, recruitment struggles, and more are bringing stress and pressure to many, and it is not what a profession in dentistry is ever supposed to be.

If you're a dentist who trained hard to have a rewarding career in dentistry and don't feel you are achieving this with your existing NHS contract, then now may be the right time to explore leaving the NHS and transitioning to private dentistry.

Private dentistry offers many opportunities, and we know from our clients that patients who cannot secure an NHS dental appointment are increasingly requesting to see a private dentist. As a company, Patient Plan Direct saw its strongest year of growth in the company’s 15-year history, with more plan patients than ever before joining client practices’ dental plans, showing the market’s appetite for dental payment plans.

Whether you're ready to make the move or are still sitting on the fence, we have the expertise and experience to help you make the right decision for you, your practice, and your patients.

A successful conversion experience

Deborah Litherland-Smith is the practice manager of Bore Street Dental Practice based in the midlands - a well-established ten surgery practice with almost 50 practice team members that recently completed a full practice NHS to private conversion with Patient Plan Direct’s support.

Deborah shares her experience so far of working with Patient Plan Direct and our support with the transition:

For more success stories, click here

Our proven methods for a successful NHS to private conversion.

At Patient Plan Direct, our 5-step NHS conversion process ensures that the transition from NHS to private dentistry is successful. Whether it be a partial or full conversion, we guarantee that you are always in control and can take each step highlighted below at your own pace. 

1 - Viability analysis.

We start by assessing your practice dynamics. This means reviewing and considering specific indicators that are key to a successful transition. This assessment can include a clinician's length of service at the practice and patient loyalty, fee-paying to exemption ratio, and your vision.

2 - In-depth financial analysis.

For a thorough financial analysis to assess conversion success, we advise the dental practice on an ideal plan structure, price point and plan uptake target to replace the current NHS income (alongside private treatment income). We then indicate the required surgery time to deliver care to patients who opt for private care.

3 - Team buy-in, engagement and training.

Once you have decided to proceed, our business development team will be on hand to ensure your practice is fully trained and engaged with the transition process and plan launch. Dental plans may be new territory for many team members, so it's essential that everyone is comfortable and fully on board.

4 - Patient communication.

We will manage the patient communication process, providing promotional materials and managing mailings to patients - clearly explaining the change and their options. It is paramount that these communications are clear and uniquely designed to speak directly to a practice's patient base positively and confidently.

5 - Practice and ongoing support.

In the early stages of the transition, we offer in-practice support so are on hand to deal with any questions or queries, no matter how big or small. Our team will help with all aspects of your plans, including marketing material, team training, pricing reviews and more. 

All client information is at your fingertips.

Our purpose-built online client portal is intuitive, granting instant access to comprehensive data concerning patients' plans as well as practice income. Within this user-friendly interface, you can effortlessly onboard new patients, implement modifications, generate detailed reports on patient payment history, and perform numerous other tasks with just a few clicks.

At Patient Plan Direct, we are committed to the ongoing evolution of our portal, constantly enhancing its security measures and functionality to guarantee a seamless experience for our valued clients.

Success requires a group effort.

We know that making dental plans in your practice a success means everyone involved needs to buy into the new direction of the practice. During in-practice training, it is the perfect time for your team to ask any questions they may have. Everyone must understand why the practice is moving in this direction and know the benefits to the team, practice, and patients.

After the training, your team will have the skills and confidence to speak to every patient who comes through the door or who calls to discuss their practice plan options. 


Further support from the client service team.

Our team's reputation for exceptional customer service is second to none. Our customer service team is exceptionally responsive, typically addressing enquiries within minutes to an hour. The Head of Client Services works closely with the broader team, ensuring swift resolutions of any complex issues that may arise. So, if your team are unsure of a patient query or has a query on our client portal, the team are on hand to answer questions in a flash! This adds to the smooth running of your practice and patient confidence in your practice. 

What happens post-conversion?

Once we know your practice is thriving with your targeted patients on a dental plan, a fully trained practice team, plenty of practice-branded marketing materials and a full diary of appointments, we ensure continuous 6-monthly reviews with your Business Development Manager or Relationship Manager. They will assess the net movement of your plan patients and share tips, training documents, schedule refresher training (if needed), and advise on how to capitalise further on your successful conversion to private dentistry. You will also receive new promotional material every year, free of charge, to ensure you always have the sales tools to hand to patients during their appointments or when they are at the reception desk.

What if it's not the right move for a practice?

If you still need clarification after our thorough, in-depth financial analysis, we respect this. It's a huge decision; you must be in the right mindset to make the leap. We will always be fully transparent if we identify reasons why a conversion may not be the right move. Should you opt to convert, always know that we support you through the transition process every step of the way and beyond the completion of the conversion.

Ready to get started?

Making the change can potentially change your work life and personal life for the better. More control over the work you do, a happier workforce, better oral health for your patients and an improvement in your practice finances – all of this is available to you. 

Let's discuss how we can help you – we are confident that we can save your practice thousands each year compared to working with other major plan providers.

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