Last week's absence of any mention of any increase in NHS funding by the Chancellor, Phillip Hammond, does not bring much comfort to dentists. With the Government financial forecast to be 122bn worse off until 2021 than previously forecasted the Government is looking to make savings were it can.
The NHS is under vast pressure to make efficiency savings and with the new NHS contract terms still being discussed could this lead to some of the savings that the Departments of Health may be looking for?
National living wage is to increase from 7.20 per hour to 7.50 from April next year will be good news for employees but will increase the costs of employment for practice owners.
Salary sacrifices will be limited to pensions, childcare vouchers and bicycles in the cycle to work scheme and employees getting an ultra-low emission company car. However computers, gym membership, and health screening will be subject to tax from April 2017.
The stages reduction for corporation tax will continue from 20% to 17% by 2020, which will be good news for those corporate practice owners.
The tax free personal allowance will be raised to 11,500 from April and will continue to rise to 12,500 by 2020/21.
The sugar tax announced in the March 2016 budget is expected to come in by 2018.
Bupa to acquire Oasis Dental Care
On 22nd November it was announced that Bupa is to acquire Oasis Dental Care ("Oasis") in a 835m deal.
Oasis is the second largest dental provider in UK with 380 practices and over 1800 dentists serving both private and public sector.
Bupa said the move is a significant milestone in Bupa's strategy to offer customers high quality dental services.
Following the deal Bupa will become a major dental provider in the UK's GBP7.1bn dental market.
Increase in cancer rates
Cancer Research UK has stated that the rates of mouth (oral) cancer has increased by 68% in the UK over the last 20 years
If detected early survival rates can rise from 50% to 90% . Dentist play a vital role in such detection however, as shown below on the review of GP patient survey half of adults in England have not seen an NHS dentist in two years.
The BDA in collaboration with Cancer Research UK has developed an oral cancer toolkit to help with the early detection of the disease, including identifying the signs to look out for, risk factors and how to respond.
Since the Oral Cancer Toolkit launched in November 2016, more than 18,000 health professionals have visited the toolkit.
GP patient survey dental stats
1.1 million Adults were asked between 1 January and March 2006 about their views on dentistry including obtaining appointments, overall experience. Some 416,000 people responded.
60% of those who responded tried had to get an appointment over the last two years and of those 93% were successful in obtaining appointments, and 85% had a positive experience. Those who had not visited practices before were less successful and younger adults and ethnic minorities had a lower success rate.
The remaining 40% had not sought appointments. Of these 21% had never tried to get a dental appointments, 17% had tried but more than two years ago and of these, 38% stated that private dentistry was a reason: 23% preferred private treatment, and 15% stated that they were moving from NHS to private and 22% stated that they didn't need dental care.