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MediEstates - UDAs: The final countdown
UDAs: The final countdown


UDAs: The final countdown

Lorraine Hunt discusses the importance of keeping track of practice performance and the role locums can play in meeting the crucial March deadline.


Every dentist with an NHS contract is aware of the stress around meeting their annual UDA target deadline, and with less than three months to go until this year’s March 31 deadline, principals need to be doing everything possible to understand where their practice stands in relation to meeting its UDA targets.

Underperforming practices are not uncommon and the last three months of a contract, when practices are doing everything they can to hit targets, are often when managers turn to outside resources for help. It can be difficult for a dentist that is proceeding with selling the practice to give their full attention to their contract while having to take time away from clinic to liaise with their broker and legal representative. At this late stage it’s all about planning – maybe extending weekday surgery hours or opening on a Saturday morning – but ensuring every surgery is running at full capacity is something an existing team can rarely do on their own. This is when recruiting a locum can be really useful and is something all practices should consider.

Locums can help to fill the gaps as and when needed either in a full-time role or on a short-term contract, to cover the necessary extra sessions. Finding a locum is not always easy and that is why it makes sense to turn to a recruitment agency that specialises solely in dentistry, such as MediCruit, for support.

Naturally, there is a trade-off between the amount paid to a locum to complete the contract versus the amount of value gained from the UDAs. Making this equation work relies on having insight into the value of each UDA, rather than seeing it only in terms of targets to hit. My advice to any client is to consider which option is more cost-effective for the practice – paying for the services of a locum in the short-term or losing UDAs and possibly being penalised at the end of the contract year?

Looking at the bigger picture, even if there is no planned sale in the pipeline and there is no need for a locum or support staff at the present time, it is always advisable for practices to register with a specialist dental recruitment agency just in case. No one can predict what’s around the corner and if the worst should happen and targets start to slip at least you will have an agent instructed, ready to immediately provide the back-up staff you need to turn the situation around.

Whether it’s an NHS, mixed or private practice, top level business performance is extremely important, especially when the time comes to sell or to plan an exit strategy. In these situations, acting sooner rather than later can pay off in the longer term.

The desirability of a practice is substantially based upon demonstrating that the existing NHS contract will be met in its entirety the following year, with accounts looked at retrospectively for at least the three previous years. Showing that targets are met every year is a great bonus when selling a practice and even if there is no plan in place to sell in the immediate future it is still an important consideration. Keeping a firm eye on performance means that when the time comes to sell a practice it will have an exemplary UDA record.

Often the NHS deals with underperformance by way of clawback, but if breaches are persistent it may seek a reduction in the UDA target and therefore contract value. The problem of underperformance can be negative for potential buyers who, like anyone, are reluctant to take on outstanding debt.

If you’re struggling to hit targets this year, you’re certainly not alone. Finding an experienced recruitment consultant who understands the nuances of the dental profession makes the job of finding locums and support staff much easier. If you think you might need help fulfilling your UDA targets by March, now is the time to act!
Posted by: Lorraine Hunt on

General Buyer Terms 

This agreement is in relation to MediEstates Limited whose registered office is at 1st Floor, Pacific House, Stanier Way, Wyvern Business Park, Derby, DE21 6BF acting for and on behalf of our clients ("the Vendors"); and yourself (Buyer's Name) in relation for an introduction to a prospective sale of a business as a going concern. By registering through this agreement I agree to all terms set out below:

  1. Definitions
    In this Agreement the following terms and phrases shall have the following meaning unless the context otherwise requires:

    Business
    Dental Practice business providing dental care. This business is under the MediEstates Ltd sale terms.
    Confidential Information
    Means the actual Vendors identity and all confidential information in respect of the Business, including, but not limited to, any ideas, business methods, prices, accounts, finance, marketing, research, development, manpower plans, processes, market opportunities, intentions, design rights, product information, customer lists or details, employees’ details, trade secrets, computer systems and software, and other matters connected with the products or services manufactured, marketed, provided or obtained by the Vendor, and information concerning the Vendor’s relationships with actual or potential clients or customers and the needs and requirements of such clients’ or customers’ operations.
  2. Obligation of Confidentiality
    The Prospective Purchaser agrees to treat as confidential, information supplied by or on behalf of the Vendor in connection with the sale of the Business.
  3. Exclusions
    The obligation of confidentiality set out in clause 2 does not apply to:
    1. any information received from a third party who was legally free at the time of disclosure to disclose it;
    2. any information which was already lawfully in the Prospective Purchaser’s possession prior to receiving it from MediEstates Ltd on behalf of the Vendor; and
    3. any information which is in its entirety already in the public domain.
  4. Duties of Prospective Purchaser
    1. The Prospective Purchaser shall take such a reasonable security measures to protect the Confidential Information and trade secrets.
    2. The Prospective Purchaser shall not, without the prior written consent of the Vendor, permit any of the Confidential Information:
      1. to be disclosed, other than in confidence to its legal or professional advisors;
      2. to be copied or reproduced;
      3. to be commercially exploited in any way;
      4. to be used for any purpose other than in connection with the prospective purchase of the Business;
      5. MediEstates is registered under the Data Protection Act 1998. Upon Signing this agreement you agree to follow the legal obligations of this act to protect the details of the information supplied to you, with it no to be passed outside of the control of you the prospective purchaser.
    3. The Prospective Purchaser agrees to keep a record of Confidential Information received.
    4. The Prospective Purchaser will return to MediEstates or the Vendor all documents containing Confidential Information and all copies of those documents on demand at any time which are in its possession or under its control, and for this purpose the term “documents” includes computer discs and all other materials capable of storing data and information. The Prospective Purchaser agrees that such documents remain the property of the MediEstates on behalf of the Vendor.
    5. The Prospective Purchaser must not jeopardise or re-direct the sale under any circumstances.
    6. The Prospective Purchaser must not contact the Local Area Team or CCG regarding any practice sale, by any means of media unless written permission is granted from the Vendor.
    7. To carry out own due diligence on practice purchases and accepts that any information MediEstates has supplied is information provided by the vendor and is not responsible for its accuracy or completeness.
  5. This Agreement
    The existence of this Agreement and its terms are confidential and neither MediEstates nor the Purchaser may disclose anything about this Agreement or its subject matter or implementation to any person other than in confidence to their legal or professional advisers.
  6. Duties of Prospective Purchaser
    When buying Dental practices, finance is normally needed. Our organisation operated over more than one of the MediHoldings brand, by completing this from you agree that the information can be shared to our other organisations to avoid the need to register independently and provide the best possible service.

    MediEstates will refer you to the specialist dental lending team and MediFinancial who will contact the necessary banks, whom have preferential healthcare lending rates in some cases, to ascertain which funding is available to you.
    By signing this agreement you do not have to use any of the banks MediFinancial contact, it is just another service which we provide.
  7. Deposit for Dental Practice
    If you are interested in putting forward a formal offer in for a practice, once the offer is accepted there will be a deposit required to secure the practice sale which is dependant of the practice size. This deposit is held in a client account and will be returned to the buyer on completion of the practice sale. You the buyer, will be required to sign a deposit schedule which will cover the buyer and the seller in the event that the practice sale does not proceed.
  8. Changes to this Agreement
    Any changes made to this agreement must be authorised and signed by one of MediEstates Ltd Directors.
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