My thanks to reader Dr Alex Jones, who brings the following to my attention (via his iphone – how cool is that?).
Dentist to open at supermarket checkout
The Times reports on a new dental service soon to be found next to the checkout at your local Sainsbury’s. An “in-store” private dental surgery will open for the first time in the Sainsbury’s in Sale, Manchester, to provide dental services on a first come, first served basis. Private practitioner Lance Knight, who already runs a “very successful” practice, claims this new service is for “the man in the street” and insists that the surgery will charge a “fair price.” Sainsbury’s head of professional services notes that with a “shortage of dental practices…this service goes some way to providing local people with greater access to dental advice and a range of procedures.” The piece notes previous BDA warnings about the level and type of access patients have to NHS dentistry, quoting Chief Executive Peter Ward.
So that’s Superdrug offering professional tooth whitening and “polishing” and Sainsbo’s wanting you to visit their in-house dentist?
The market place is warming up. And Virgin haven’t started marketing properly – yet.
I have a plan to compete in this market – what’s yours?
I believe this is good news for my private corporate and its also good news if you intend to continue as an independent professional.
When Boots invested Â£30 million in advertising “well-being” services back in 2000/2001, all dentists saw an upturn in business.
Add that to the current cult of celebrity on multiple mindless TV channels – and you have a population who want “whiter, straighter teeth”, who want to “look good and feel good”.
And God bless the over-50’s who can afford to do something about it.
By the way – I’m 55 years old tomorrow – and more conscious of my appearance and dress then ever – and there are millions just like me.
What do we want?
- fantastic customer service
- no delays
- lovely environments
- competent people
Dental tourism debate continues
Following last week’s reports on dental tourism and the touring “tentist,” Julian Knight travels to Budapest on behalf of the Independent, following the “ranks of cash-conscious teeth tourists” travelling outside the UK to seek out lower cost treatments in other countries.
Meanwhile, a letter to the Daily Express applauds the Hungarian dentists touring the UK, “filling the gap” in a service that is likened to the standard of a “Third World” country.
Finally, an article in the Sunday Express reports that health tourism is “booming,” according to the website treatmentabroad.com which claims that the number of queries regarding “cheaper private treatment” has risen.
Tooth fairy feeling the pinch
There is widespread coverage across the newspapers on a survey of 1,000 parents, the results of which suggest that the average amount left under the pillow for a child’s tooth has dropped in the shadow of the credit crunch. The previous Ã‚Â£1.22 given per tooth dropped to 87p in just six months, while, according to the reports, 38 per cent of British children do not get any money from the tooth fairy at all.
How to save a packet on NHS treatment
The Daily Mirror publishes a list of “ten ways to cut the costs of being sick,” detailing ways to “save a packet on NHS treatment.” The list encourages readers to find an NHS dentist via NHS direct and advises readers to “keep ringing” even if a dentist is fully booked. The piece also breaks down the costs of treatment and the importance of ensuring the appropriate treatment is carried out.
Sunday Express magazine S includes writer Amy Packer’s experience of wearing braces on her teeth in her late-twenties. Â In the article, she describes how, under threat of her crooked teeth creating further problems for her down the line, she invested the time and money to get them straightened and managed to battle a change in eating patterns as well as the social stigmas attached.
In an alternative snapshot of a patient’s experience of dentistry, Scotland on Sunday includes an article from Kayt Turner who writes of her deep-rooted fear of dentists following an experience as a child of having the wrong tooth pulled, the trauma from which she has never fully recovered.
NHS spending is hit by postcode lottery
Articles in the Independent, the Telegraph and the Daily Express are critical of NHS spending differentials between postal codes claiming that patients in some areas of the UK “are having three times more spent on their health care than those living elsewhere.” Supporting figures were revealed as part of a study by medical think-tank, the King’s Fund, which calls the spending variations “almost certainly not justified.” The Department of Health reiterates that the “local NHS is free to make decisions on spending priorities based on the character and needs of their population.”