Thursday, 7 June 2012

OFT report into NHS dentistry published.

The press have long enjoyed highlighting shortcomings with NHS dentistry but, with the publication of the OFT's report, do we now have a balanced view?
Although the OFT concentrated on NHS dental practices, there are a number of key findings which can equally be applied to private practices.  In particular, the OFT found:
  • A significant number of patients reported that there were no leaflets or posters covering dental charges in practices.
  • 20% of patients who were sold a dental plan felt pressurised into buying it.
  • A complex system for complaints and concerns exists
  • The inability of patients to directly access hygienists & clinical dental technicians without first seeing a dentist, amongst other things, limits patient choice.
  • The current structure of the NHS dental contract limits competition and innovation in the dental market.
AllClear is a fully private practice and we do not offer NHS treatment.  However, we do believe that there is a place for NHS dentistry and, for our part, would welcome the implementation of the recommendations of the OFT, in particular by opening up NHS treatment to all providers and by enabling direct access to hygienists. 

In the meantime, for those of our customers on a tight budget, we are happy to recommend our economy range of treatment which offers the same standards of treatment that you would expect from an NHS practice at comparable prices.  In addition, visitors to our practice or website will find comprehensive information on the services we offer, our prices and, if you do have a concern about the treatment you have received, information about the process to follow and full contact details for the bodies concerned.  Our membership scheme offers a way to keep costs to a minimum and, whilst most of our customers would benefit from membership, we will be happy to welcome you even if you choose not to join.

To see the full OFT report, click here.  For more details about AllClear, please call in, phone (020 8688 3869) or see our website.

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