Dental practices feel the financial bite

As businesses across the UK struggle in the face of the coronavirus lockdown, thousands of people have been calling for dental appointments

Updated: 10th June 2020

Dental practices feel the financial bite

As businesses across the UK struggle in the face of the coronavirus lockdown, thousands of people have been calling for dental appointments, but how many of the 12,000 plus dental practices will prove able to survive the current financial challenges?

While the safety of the dental team and patients is, of course, paramount, the financial sustainability of practices which have been unable to operate since 23rd March, is also a real concern. With the date of their re-opening still unclear, there are also numerous issues and challenges around resuming routine dental care, many of which will add to the financial burden for practices.

Like many small businesses, dental practices have seen a huge reduction in their revenues in recent months. While the Scottish Government has said that it will pay NHS dental practices 80% of their average income from NHS fees and patient charges, practices will miss out on substantial income from private dentistry which effectively subsidises NHS work.

The British Dental Association (BDA) recently warned that more than two-thirds of Scottish dental practices said they could only survive a maximum of three months due to the financial impact of the pandemic; and, while a quarter of practices had applied for Government support loans, 86% had been turned down.

As practices in Scotland prepare for a phased return to NHS dental services, we echo the BDA’s concern that large parts of our dental service are at risk of imminent collapse. Even after re-opening, they will continue to face tough trading conditions with many people reluctant to resume routine dental care and patients likely to delay check-ups, trips to the hygienist or aesthetic work.

What’s more, with most practices located in fairly small premises, the need to accommodate social distancing measures will add to costs at a time when dentists will be looking to run more efficiently and reduce their overheads. Given the increased risk of transmission during aerosol generating dental procedures, practices will also have to invest in providing PPE for staff.

The key advice in this challenging situation is to seek expert help before financial problems escalate – talk to your accountant or other professional advisers and, working with them, keep a close eye on cash flow.

Although it has become a cliché, these really are unprecedented times and, like any small business, having expert, trusted advice on hand, will be crucial to dental practices remaining viable in such testing circumstances.


About the author

Ken Pattullo

Regional Managing Partner

Meet our Team of Experts

Ken joined the Glasgow office of Begbies Traynor in 2003, before overseeing the firm's expansion into further offices in Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen and Belfast. He previously worked at KPMG, Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers in Scotland. He has a broad range of experience in Corporate Rescue and Recovery, as well as in turnaround and restructuring, corporate and personal insolvency, investigations and IBRs.

Specialisms: Licensed trade, haulage, property investment/development, construction, agriculture engineering/manufacturing.

78 Regional UK Offices

Find your local Begbies Traynor office and speak to an adviser today.

Find your Local Office
0800 063 9221

Call our Confidential Advice Line. Calls to this number are free of charge.

Call us now...
Request a Meeting

We invite you to come and discuss your enquiry with us at your convenience.

Request a meeting...
0800 464 0871

Call our Confidential Advice Line. Calls to this number are free of charge.

Call us now...
Request a Meeting

We invite you to come and discuss your enquiry with us at your convenience.

Request a meeting...
0161 837 1700

Call our Confidential Advice Line. Calls to this number are free of charge.

Call us now...
Request a Meeting

We invite you to come and discuss your enquiry with us at your convenience.

Request a meeting...
Coronavirus pushes financially distressed companies over the half-million mark
Number of businesses in significant distress stands at 509,000 – the highest number measured by the Red Flag Alert research
Read More →
 
BTG Advisory accelerates growth with appointment of four new partners to its London office
BTG Advisory, the boutique advisory arm of Begbies Traynor Group announces the appointment of four new partners to its Canary Wharf office
Read More →
 
Eighty jobs saved with £1m sale of engineering business
South Yorkshire company Newburgh Precision rescued through administration
Sale enables 75-year-old business to continue trading
Read More →
 
Join thousands of professionals by signing up for our updates
Analysis and Opinion from our Partners
Top Industry News
Register Now →
 

Advice you can trust

We are accredited by the following industry leading organisations

Insolvency Practitioners Association Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales R3: Association of Business Recovery Professionals ICAEW Business Advice Service Turnaround Management Association ICAS | The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland

Contact the Begbies Traynor team

or Find your Nearest Office

Here at Begbies Traynor Group we take your privacy seriously and will only use your personal information to contact you with regards to your enquiry. We will not use your information for marketing purposes. See PRIVACY POLICY

Processing...