NASDAL: More than half of UK dental practices rely on Government loans


  Posted by: Dental Design      22nd September 2020

A recent NASDAL (National Association of Specialist Dental Accountants and Lawyers) survey has found that 52% of UK dental practices have relied on either CIBLS (Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme) or BBLS (Bounce Back Loan Scheme) from the government.

The survey was carried out last month and a sample of 121 practices (with a total fee income of £88 million) was taken from NASDAL accountant member practice owning clients on a random sampling basis. The survey found that:

  • 11% of practices have taken out CBILS loans, mainly private practices
  • The average CBILS loan is £105k (12% of fee income)
  • 41% of practices have taken out BBLS loans, covering all types of practices.
  • The average BBLS loan is £49k (7% of fee income).

The average loan is £32k (4% of fee income) and overall, 52% of dental practices have taken advantage of Government backed Covid loans.

 Alan Suggett, specialist dental accountant and partner in UNW LLP who compiles the goodwill survey, commented, “these findings don’t surprise me and reflect what I have found when speaking to dental clients. The CBILS application process was particularly arduous and difficult and this meant that in my experience, those practices that applied for CBILS loans really did need the funds. BBLS however, required just a couple of ticks and the money was in the account 48 hours later. I suspect that a large number of applicants did so on a ‘just in case’ basis and will be happy to pay the money back in full next year.

“One of the major concerns that NASDAL had when we reported to the short life working group (SLWG) headed up by Deputy CDO England, Jason Wong, was that most dental practices are fundamentally sound businesses and to see a good number in potential difficulty purely because of capital loan repayments, is a real concern. That is why it was key for us that in the recommendations, a government guaranteed loan support scheme to underpin lenders confidence in supporting dental practices and dental laboratories at risk was included.

“When the CIBLS and BBLS repayments become due next year, we will see how many dentists and practices are in difficulty.”


Number of Practices in survey   121  
Total Fees     £88,418,701  
Total NHS Fees   £35,948,501 41%
Total Private Fees   £52,470,200 59%
Total COVID Support Borrowings   £3,822,000  
Average Support Borrowings (Per Practice)   £31,587  
Percentage of Borrowings to Total Turnover   4%  
Number of Practices with CBILS   13 11%
Total Fees (of Practices with CBILS)   £11,896,317 13%
Total NHS Fees (of Practices with CBILS)   £1,941,133  
Total Private Fees (of Practices with CBILS)   £9,955,184 84%
Total CBILS Borrowing   £1,369,000  
Average of CBILS Borrowings to Number of Practices with CBILS £105,308  
Percentage of Borrowings to Total Turnover (of Practices with CBILS) 12%  
Number of Practices with BBLs   50 41%
Total Fees (of Practices with BBLs)   £34,481,458 39%
Total NHS Fees (of Practices with BBLs)   £15,198,902  
Total Private Fees (of Practices with BBLs)   £19,282,555 56%
Total BBLs Borrowing   £2,453,000  
Average of BBLs Borrowings to Number of Practices with BBLs £49,060  
Percentage of Borrowings to Total Turnover (of Practices with BBLs) 7%  

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