Dentists in the NHS ‘are unhappy and anxious’

Survey shows worrying levels of discontent and reveals that professionals working in the private sector feel much better about their job

Results from the 2018 NHS Confidence Monitor survey, carried out by Practice Plan, have shown worrying statistics around levels of anxiety and unhappiness in the dental profession. The survey was open to both NHS and private dentists and respondents came from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

It included questions about their levels of happiness across seven areas of their working life, anxiety about the risk of complaints and litigation, and their confidence in the future of NHS dentistry.

“The average percentage of nhs dentists saying they were either unhappy or very unhappy was 86 per cent”

The majority of respondents work predominantly in the NHS, but the survey showed that 86 per cent did not see themselves working within the NHS in five years’ time. 

Of those thinking of leaving, 48 per cent were considering a move to private dentistry, 28 per cent were considering retirement, but a very high 24 per cent were considering a career change. Across all seven happiness questions, the average percentage of NHS dentists saying they were either unhappy or very unhappy was 86 per cent. This contrasted dramatically with those practising predominantly in the private sector, where the average percentage saying they were happy or very happy was 83 per cent. On average, NHS respondents were more than twice as likely to feel very anxious about complaints and litigation – 63 per cent compared to 26 per cent in private dentistry.

The 2019 survey is now open.

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Published: 14 May, 2019 at 07:20