Private and NHS practices post increasing profits

UK dental practice profits have increased, on average, by three per cent over the course of the past 12 months.

The National Association of Specialist Dental Accountants and Lawyers (NASDAL) published the figures earlier this month.

Overall, the report shows that NHS, mixed and private practices had all benefited from an uplift in profits.

The new figures carry forward a trend begun in 2012, which, although not matching the height of pre-2008 figures, is a welcome indicator of dentistry getting back on its feet, post-financial crisis.

While profits increased, associate pay remained largely unchanged, with the average rate remaining at £10.89 per unit of dental activity (UDA). Associates are also seeing an average one per cent drop in fee income, falling to £81,714.

Commenting on the increase in dental practice profits, an author of the NASDAL report said: “We’re seeing an increase in profit of all types of practice. There’s very little to choose between NHS practices and private practices in terms of profitability.

“Mixed practices tend to have the highest level of fee income, but then will typically have the highest cost ratio as well.

“Therefore typically, a mixed practice’s profit is nearly £10,000 less than a dedicated NHS or private practice (more than 80 per cent).”

The average net profits per principal between 2014 and 2017, by practice, type were as follows:

Year ending March 2015:

  • NHS – £129,265
  • Mixed – £131,277
  • Private – £140,129

Year ending March 2016:

  • NHS – £134,102
  • Mixed – £127,684
  • Private – £133,743

Year ending March 2017:

  • NHS – £139,698
  • Mixed – £130,076
  • Private – £139,454