Report reveals plunging NHS practice profitability

08 April, 2020 / infocus

New figures follow a big increase in costs, most notably in staff and general administration 

A typical private practice’s profit in Scotland is more than £23,000 greater than that of a typical NHS practice, according to a new report.

The finding forms part of the inaugural NASDAL Scotland (National Association of Specialist Dental Accountants and Lawyers) Benchmarking Statistics. The statistics were gathered from the accountant members of NASDAL across Scotland, who together act for more than a quarter of self-employed dentists.

The statistics reveal that the average net profit per NHS principal was £118,409 versus £141,797 average net profit per private principal. Mixed practices sat at £130,697 average net profit per principal.

As well as the big gap noted between NHS and private, there appears to be a big reduction in NHS profitability in 2018-19, as this figure was down 15.2 per cent compared with the previous UK average. The average net profit per principal is down from £139,698 to £118,409. Private and mixed profitability both saw a small rise of 1.7 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively.

 “Private practices are continuing to do well, and a big profitability gap is in place between private and NHS practices. NHS practices have seen a big increase in costs, most notably in staff and general administration,” said Roy Hogg, chair of NASDAL Scotland. However, he added: “We know that COVID-19 will have a life changing impact on dentists and dental practices across the country.”

The statistics from 2018-19 show associates with an average fee income of £75,435 and average net profit of £62,419. Compared with the UK-wide figures from 2017-18, this sees a big drop in fee income from £81,714 and average net profit of £66,318. 

The NASDAL Scot benchmarking statistics will be published annually in March and reflect the finances of dental practices and dentists for the most recent tax year. The figures provide a detailed picture of dental practice finances, sourced directly from dentists working privately and in the NHS.

Read the full story: ‘Revealed: the big gap between NHS and private practice’

Tags: news / NHS practice / Profits

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