NHS dentists urged to forewarn patients of plans to go private

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The DDU (Dental Defence Union) has urged NHS dentists who plan to go private to forewarn patients.

The advice comes after a survey revealed that up to 60 percent of NHS dentists are considering going private in the next five years. Rupert Hoppenbrouwers, senior dento-legal adviser at the DDU, suggested providing patients with six months’ notice to give them time to find an alternative provider and consider their options. This window of time also affords patients the chance to complete courses of treatment that may be underway at the time of notice to improve continuity of care.

The DDU has encouraged dentists to talk to patients at appointments if this is possible, and if not, to share updates online or send out letters to registered patients with details of the proposals and the option to seek advice if patients are unsure of what to do.

If dentists are seriously considering going private, the DDU advises them to contact patients, make the options clear and provide details of the services that will be available to them if they choose to stay at the practice. Dentists are also urged to provide costs for treatments so that patients can decide whether to remain on the register or seek alternative arrangements.

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