Q4 analysis of looming staffing crisis in UK Dentistry

As dentistry enters 2019, the last quarter of the financial and NHS contract year a recent survey by Destination Dental has found that recruitment across the sector is in crisis blamed on Brexit, poor workforce planning, low morale and NHS contract obligations.

British Dental Association (BDA) figures for 2018 indicate 65% of NHS practices in England struggled to fill vacant posts, a 17% rise on the 2017 figure.  A BDA survey, published in 2017, showed 58% of NHS dentists were planning to leave the health service in the next five years. One in ten of those aged under 35 said they planned to quit dentistry altogether, with a similar number planning to move overseas.

General Dental Council registration data between 2006 and 2016 shows that almost 40% of new entrants currently come from overseas, with the majority from EEA.  Dentists from European Economic Area (EEA) countries clocked up the lowest periods on the register, an average of just 8 years for men, and 6.5 years for women.  Indicating they choose to move back to their home countries in Europe possibly accelerated by Brexit fears.   

Destination Dental have found that 50% of dental nurses that are ‘actively’ looking for a new role are seeking to leave the profession altogether.

The average turnover of Dentists in UK corporates is 11% annually.

The average turnover of Nurses in UK corporates is 35% annually.

The average turnover of Hygienists in UK corporates is 7% annually.

These figures are slightly reduced when you factor in independent practices with greater staff loyalty but traditional corporates are impacting the turnover of staff in a negative way across the sector.

If you are struggling to build a stable motivated practice team utilising your unique brand and vision the fixed cost recruitment solution offered by Destination Dental can deliver this for you.  

Please contact the team on 0800 2118253 or email [email protected]


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