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NHS Contract's impact on patients tops dentists' fears

The impact the NHS Contract will have on patients' ability to get the services they need tops the list of dentists' concerns, with two thirds (68%) citing it as one of their top fears according to new research by Wesleyan.

The viability of smaller practices was the next largest concern, with more than half (59%) forecasting closures, while an increase in private dentists (28%) ranked as the third biggest fear.

Consolidation of practices (25%) and an increased demand for dental care professionals (23%) were identified as other concerns with the contract. Only four per cent believed it would have no effect on the profession.

Judith Husband, a dentist and member of Wesleyan's Members Advisory Board, commented: "The 2006 version of the Dental Contract led to one million fewer patients accessing care after two years. This new research shows that, despite the Steel Review and years of piloting and prototypes, the dental profession remains concerned about the impact on the patient.

"Just last month, Wesleyan found that half of dentists would not recommend their profession, and the introduction of the new NHS dental contract emerged as the industry's biggest worry."

The new contract registered as dentists' main concern about their profession with 60% citing it as their biggest worry, overtaking rising costs and reduced profitability, which topped the list in 2014.

Alan Whiting, Wesleyan Group Head of Marketing, said: "The new contract is dentists' biggest concern about their profession, and its impact on patients is their biggest concern about the contract.

"But the contract will also have financial implications for dentists and their practices.

"Specialist providers of financial advice for dentists, such as Wesleyan, can help dentists plan their finances and those of their businesses, helping them make the most of their money both for the present and future."

Wesleyan is a mutual financial services provider for dentists, doctors, lawyers and teachers.

'WESLEYAN’ is a trading name of the Wesleyan Group of companies.

Wesleyan Assurance Society and Wesleyan Bank Ltd are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Wesleyan Financial Services Ltd, Wesleyan Unit Trust Managers Ltd, Practice Plan Ltd and DPAS Ltd are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.  Advice about investments, insurance and mortgages is provided by Wesleyan Financial Services Ltd.

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© 2018 Wesleyan Assurance Society