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a blog by Chris Barrow

Times of war – the battle is nearly over and about to begin

For some this will be the last few days before the “voting is closed” on the last year’s UDA targets, the last few patients are herded through the sheep dip and the financial reckoning takes place.

Principals will no doubt enjoy a celebration drink over the weekend, as the annual delivery battle closes and the weary finishers return to their camps, some with the spoils of victory, others staggering back, wounded, defeated and exhausted by the journey.

The banks, lawyers, regulators and commissioners will arrive on the battlefield, ready (as always) to bayonet the wounded and steal their last possessions.

The supply side of dentistry will be heaving a sigh of relief after Easter, as they will expect that for the first time in 3 months or more, the victorious NHS Principals may be able to think about the future (and investment in their businesses).

I wonder how many other Principals will take the view that enough is enough and decide to extract themselves from this dental tough mudder and focus on providing quality, rather than Government-imposed quantity?

We can further speculate on the next 12 months in NHS corporate dentistry and whether or not we are likely to see a Carillion effect as institutional investors pay the penalty for low achievement (up to 75% below target in some cases, practices closed in others) and decide to cut their losses and walk away.

It’s a brave person nowadays who says “that could never happen”.

There is no pleasure in failure, no matter to whom it happens.

I genuinely hope there are no corporate collapses as a lot of very good people would be disadvantaged.

There are mortgages and livelihoods at stake (although you wouldn’t think that mattered to the Government when looking at the NHS ortho tendering process).

Will there soon be an episode of Question Time during which a Member of Parliament is answering queries on healthcare businesses in meltdown or, more likely, cohorts of the population who no longer have access to NHS dentistry?

Some would also take the view that the bigger the disaster, the bigger the opportunity.

The NHS micro-corporates will wait with interest to see whether any bargain-basement goodwill valuations emerge.

We live in interesting times.

His heart ached as he witnessed how the Yuan troops wreaked havoc in the land every day, like gusts of wind blowing dead leaves before them. Truly, Far better to be a dog in days of peace Than to be a human in times of war.

“Bai Yuniang Endures Hardships and Brings about Her Husband’s Success”

Suzhou, China 1627

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