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a blog by Chris Barrow

Virgin Dentistry arrives today

This morning’s British Dental Journal will carry an advert from Virgin Healthcare, looking for dentists and hygienist/therapists to apply for jobs. It is rumoured that they plan to open private dental clinics inside large medical health centres only — up to 7 dentists per site. The patients will be those attached to the health centre and they are aiming at affordable family dentistry with cherry-picking for cosmetic cases. Virgin Dentistry is currently being formed as a corporate and they could open their first practice by the late summer — the progress will be tied to the Governments schedule to build a open a new breed of large family health centres.  Chances are that: 1.   They will advertise nationally to hoover up staff (that’s what Boots did); 2.   Throw money at the marketing; 3.   Create the fear of God in the minds of many dentists; I’m surprised at the absence of any apparent NHS commitment — although that speaks volumes for Virgin’s assessment that the NHS sector is not the place to be. Family dental practices need to be worried — the cosmetic boys will be OK and those offering a boutique experience. My quick assessment is that the over 50’s patient will be OK — they don’t identify with Virgin. 25-35’s will love it. Affordable families will love it.  Just off to an 8.00am meeting with a PNC after rolling in to Salisbury at 8.30pm last night in snow. Knackered and happy after an excellent week as a coach — best bit being working with Simon in Scotland — we rock.

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