Scottish dental group commits to 12,000 new NHS patients

07 June 2024
Jim Hall.

Clyde Munro, a dental group, is welcoming NHS registrations across the country for up to 12,000 new patients throughout 2024.

In a move to address the escalating demand for dental services across Scotland, the group has committed to new NHS patient registrations in 12 practices across five NHS health boards: Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Ayrshire and Arran, Lanarkshire, Highlands, and Lothian.

Jim Hall, founder and chief executive officer of Clyde Munro, said, “As Scotland's leading dental group, we recognise our responsibility to support dental patients across the country, given the ongoing crisis facing NHS dentistry. Behind the scenes, we've been working tirelessly to prepare for this moment, ensuring we're fully equipped to welcome new NHS patients.”

The reformed payment system rolled out in Scotland on November 1, 2023, aimed to incentivise dentists to stay in the NHS through increased funding. But statistics from the British Dental Association show almost 82 per cent of NHS dentists in Scotland are no longer accepting new patients and 83 per cent are planning to reduce their NHS numbers.

In the past year, Clyde Munro has established the Scottish dental sector’s first dedicated in-house recruitment team, committed to attracting and retaining top-tier talent.

Jim continued, “Our focus on recruitment underlines our steadfast commitment to ensuring patients receive the highest standard of care and aims to bridge the gap in accessibility to NHS services in rural and deprived areas. Since our dedicated in-house recruitment team was established, we have recruited 94 clinicians, which will have a positive impact on the wider sector.

“Our success in securing talent has only been made possible by our investment in skills development and training and our dedication to digital dentistry and world-leading technologies, all of which ensure dentists in Scotland are less likely to look to other countries or private practices.”

Clyde Munro has invested over £2.5m  in 75 innovative digital scanners, digital learning, development tools and a purpose-built skills academy that aims to bring cutting-edge specialists and skills to Scottish dentistry. Together, they allow the group to offer more advanced procedures and digital technologies with improved accuracy and efficiency, creating shorter waiting times and increased availability for appointments across the board.

Jim said, “While we prioritise the retention of the exceptional dentists we already have across the group, through our Perth-based Advanced Dentistry and Clinical Skills Centre, it’s equally as important that we work with young dentists to support them on the transition from university to working in general practice. Our Flying Start programme provides young dentists with practical career, finance, and business advice alongside dental skills development, while our Best Foot Forward programme supports Vocational Training Dentists in their career progression.  

“I believe our efforts in recruitment, digital investment and dedicated training and skills development are what sets us apart from the market. However, these measures will also benefit the sector as a whole, helping to secure dentists for Scotland and increase NHS capacity.

“NHS dentistry is invaluable to the people of Scotland, and we are absolutely committed to providing those services to our patients across the group.”