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Interview Synopsis

IDH Group FY20 update – UK market recovery & near term profitability outlook

  • Credit
  • Healthcare
  • Europe

When asked about the state of the sector, a senior executive from Portman Healthcare Ltd explained that “the UK dental market is recovering pretty strongly”, but different segments are seeing this to varying degrees. “The NHS side of the dental market is certainly struggling with COVID, coupled with Brexit, coupled with associates leaving,” they noted, but the private side is “thriving”.

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NHS clinics experiencing teething problems during recovery

The specialist then elaborated on the divergence between NHS versus private clinics. When it came to reopening, “NHS practices, in my opinion, just relied on the NHS to govern all that and, because the message was very unclear from the government, I think they just weren’t prepared to rebound that quick”.

Conversely, private practices took a more proactive approach, as they “had to be ready for whenever that drawbridge did come down for patients to enter the practice”. As well as being better prepared, we also heard that private clinics are seeing stronger demand owing to being more focused on cosmetic procedures.

Turning to brands under IDH Group, the Portman Healthcare executive explained that MyDentist is “always going to have a problem with private dentistry”. There is a public and private perception, they explained, that works against them here. In addition, at present, “the competition at a practice level, at an individual practice level, at corporate level, is too strong for them” to be able to change this notion.

The group has also reported challenges with recruitment, albeit still an improved situation compared with previous years. Not only are fewer people qualified versus a decade ago, the specialist believes that IDH struggles because of its reputation. However, this could be remedied, they posited, with better pay and education.

Other topics discussed include the UK’s consolidation outlook and how the pandemic affected practices for sale.

To access all the human insights from Third Bridge Forum’s IDH Group FY20 Update – UK Market Recovery & Near-term Profitability Outlook Interview, click here to view the full transcript.

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