Most dentists know the fear of coming to the end of the NHS year. Often you find yourself fast running out of UDA's. What do you do before the new year? How do you handle this? This is the challenge that many Dental Practices face.
The first thing to get right is tracking your UDA's. Your preferred Dental Software should help you track your UDA's. In Dentally you can track UDA's in our NHS UDA's report. Tracking them carefully allows you to know how you are doing. Overperforming leaves you in a tricky situation but underperforming is even worse so these reports are great for letting you know how you are doing.
When you find yourself overperforming what are your options?
You could always contact your local area team and enquire about an increase to your UDA's however you may find that you are offered a lower rate and may be expected to work weekends. This solution should always be explored as a first option and may suit your practice.
If you find that you are just being overwhelmed with new patience and appointments you can develop a waiting list for patients to be contacted at the start of your new NHS contract. This option can also let you budget and make forecasts for later in the year. Many patients are okay with being added to a waiting list once you explain that your NHS contract is running out.
For patients who want to be seen before April you could decide to take them on as a private patient. This can help build the private side of your practice which a lot of practices find desirable.
There are also a number of paths you can go down specifically relating to the issue of overperforming on your NHS contract.
Offer patients the chance of treatment at a similar price level to your NHS contract for the brief period before the new NHS year while making sure that they understand that this doesn't come with the usual NHS guarantees. This may not be workable for all practices but for those who are able to take the hit on gains it could be the solution you are looking for.
Go fully private in the run up to the end of your NHS contract while using the last of your UDA's for emergencies only. This may ease the strain on your appointment book but comes with the danger that current patients may move to a different practice. You will have to weigh up if this is worth it to your practice.
These are just some possible solutions to the problem of overperforming on your NHS contract, let us know how you would solve this issue on our forums.
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