UK Dental Forum 2019 – A Pluto Partners Insight
Members of the Pluto Partners team, Max and Segun, attended the UK Dental Forum 2019 in Marbella, Spain. Pluto’s aim for the forum was not only to strengthen existing relationships and create new ones but also to further develop our understanding of the market and its trends. As you might have read in our previous articles, the UK’s dental corporates are continuing to expand their market share. The two-day event saw a gathering of 32 UK Dental Groups representing more than 1,750 dental practices. As well as Pluto Partners, there were 37 other leading suppliers and business service providers.
On the first day, the team attended a highly anticipated session with Liz Kay (a leading consultant in Dental Public Health and Scientific Advisor to the BDA). The three panellists joining were Anshul Pangotra (CEO of Alliance Dental Care), Fiona Slavin (COO of Clyde Munro) and Barry Lanesman (CEO of Dentex) in a candid discussion of the industry’s most pressing issues. Pluto wanted to give you a quick highlight into what was talked about.
Some key questions from the audience and the discussion;
Q) What can be improved in the industry?
A) The dental industry can sometimes feel quite separated, there is an obvious need for more unity. For example, in the Association of Dental Groups we encourage more active participation and have furthered efforts to share best practice amongst not only practices within the group, but also between other groups.
Q) As a CEO of a dental corporate, what numbers do you check first?
A) So, you would start with patient care and patient satisfaction, then look into recruitment and revenue.
Q) What can we do to improve the recruitment issue?
A) Firstly, we need to stop dentists wanting to change careers by offering more opportunity to grow and fulfil their career paths. The balance of work and personal development is essential. In private practices, creating a culture of responsibility, with consistency of policies, systems and processes, will lead to progress.
With more support towards raising education standards on both the clinical side but also in terms of ethos. It’s harder for NHS practices due to commissioning. The government should look at areas with low UDA value and commission higher value UDAs, as well as focusing on training academies and dental schools. There are very limited spaces for the number of applicants looking to go into dentistry. Those who do manage to qualify want to work in fully private practices as opposed to NHS practices, due to the current image of the NHS and the pay difference.
Q) Dental Market Update
There is strong demand and lots of confidence in the sector.
With the uncertainty surrounding the NHS contracts we can see an increasing interest around private dental practices.
Banks and investors are still strongly looking to invest in the dental sector, with more private equity companies coming into the market.
Orthodontics market is resuming after the completion of tenders.
Some dentists who won their tenders and have had their contracts reassigned to them are selling.
Rural locations with smaller turnover are struggling to sell their practices.
If you have any enquiries about the current dental market or you want to have a confidential, no obligation chat about your practice in particular, feel free to give us a call.