Is mixed the best?

Caron Best, operations director at dental partners, looks at the benefits of working in a mixed practice and how it can bring out the best in both NHS and private dentistry.

The dental landscape has changed signifcantly over recent years especially for those working within the NHS. Uncertainty around the ever-changing NHS contracts, increasing regulation and concerns about the impact of Brexit are just some of the reasons why many NHS clinicians are wondering exactlywhere their future is heading.

Patients too are changing with the times, becoming more aware about the aesthetics of dentistry and much more focussed on enhancing their smile in the private system, rather than just ensuring their teeth remain functional under the NHS.

On the face of it this may all seem rather depressing. But looking on the positive side, this is in fact a great oppportunity for NHS clinicians and recent graduates in particular to consider a move into mixed practice, which brings out the best of both NHS and private dentistry.

Clinicians are obliged to offer patients all the treatment options available to them, whether that’s under the NHS or privately, so they can make an informed choice. Many clinicians are also looking for variety in their daily routine above and beyond the confines of NHS dentistry and thats exactly what working in a mixed practice can offer. Given the right arena it’s the chance to hone new skills through internal training and external learning opportunities and be able to offer those skills to new patients.

At Dental Partners we are committed to supporting our clinicians to develop their skills, or even explore specialities, so they can offer a wider range of treatments to our patients to suit their changing needs and desires. We have the right clinical structure, systems and processes in place, along with both staff and marketing support to ensure patients are fully aware of what is available to them outside of the NHS.

Increasingly, today’s NHS patients are happy to seek out and pay for private treatment and are far more open to new treatment options they may not previously have been aware of. Dentistry is at a crossroads and now is the ideal time to consider a career within a mixed practice that encourages clinical freedom and offers support to all team members to provide the variety of quality care patients are looking for.

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