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a blog by Chris Barrow

Associate required - £25k Golden Hello

The headline appears on the BDJ jobs site and refers to a practice in Elgin, Moray (North East Scotland).

I'm advised by one of my clients that:

"It’s the NHS recruitment and retention allowance being referred to here. Have to commit to 2 years doing NHS for more than 4 sessions a week with NHS earnings of 80% or more. £12.5k a year. It’s only available in certain more rural locations."

It will, no doubt, fuel the conversations that are taking place all over the UK around the challenges in recruitment and retention across the dental landscape.

Whilst, at the moment, this type of inducement may only be necessary in more remote areas, one wonders how long it will be before institutionally funded corporates follow suit - I've already seen one advert in Dentistry magazine from a corporate offering sign on fees for associates in a densely populated area.

Over the weekend, members of my Owner's WhatsApp Group have been offering messages of support to a client who has made "the news" (including the BBC) by writing to her patients to explain that the 6 dentists she had before the pandemic is now 2 dentists and 2 hygienists and that they cannot in any way keep up with demand.

6,000 existing patients without a dentist and 2,000 on a waiting list.

Two years of recruitment advertising has produced not a single applicant to deliver UDAs (and she is not the only Owner in her town suffering the same way).

My client's practice has been paint-bombed twice in the last few months by a hooded male who is unrecognisable in CCTV footage. The press are on her doorstep.

She, predictably, is living on her nerves and I'm working with her and Practice Plan on a conversion.

Why? Because, social conscience or not, she hasn't got the funds to offer golden hellos, or pay over the odds.

Yet another example of why NHS dentistry has to be delivered (going forward) by organisations with deep pockets and very extended time horizons.

Why the smaller independent needs to get out of Dodge.

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