Tesco v Waitrose v Lidl v Sainsbury

vector-shopping-set_G1HDJkL__LIn his Pendlebury lecture of June 2014, the then recently installed chairman of the GDC William Moyes informed those present that, “Dentists and dental care professionals now have customers, not clients ………or, indeed, patients.”. It was nice of a government appointed non-clinician to share the official view with the profession, now who will tell the patients I wonder? But we have heard it all before, who will ever forget Edwina Currie’s oh so clever speech on similar lines at the LDC dinner when she was at the DoH. He went on to tell the audience about how, “the Council’s first priority for 2014 is to strengthen our fitness to practise regime”. All going smoothly there, Bill.

Elsewhere he told The Times that he thinks that “Consumer pressure for a “Lidl to Waitrose” model of treatment would be more effective than inspections in exposing poor care”. Presumably each practice will get the patients it deserves but that’s marketing for you. I was reminded of both Dr Moyes’ opinions and Alan Coren’s comment that, “he liked Sainsburys because it kept the riff-raff out of Waitrose” when I read Paul Burke’s blog on Saturday. (Paul is a music insider who always links a piece of music to his observations.)

The real difference between Tesco and Waitrose.

“It’s not the food, it’s not the prices, it’s the customers. Waitrose customers tend to be brisk, middle-class and both quick and efficient in the way they live their lives and do their shopping. They’re in and out with a minimum of fuss. The Tesco clientele are rather different. They lumber slowly and gormlessly up and down the aisles – two abreast- like they’re in some sort of trance. Then they just stop at the most inconvenient places to discuss whether they should get the large or medium box of Corn Flakes. I was in Tesco this morning for what seemed like hours. By the time I finally escaped, I was on the brink of a breakdown…”

Not sure what he would think of Lidl and Aldi – presumably their dental patients, yes they are patients Dr Moyes as I am when I experience healthcare, would go in and during their appointment be heard to say to their partner, “Oh, that’s a shame they don’t have the filling that I had last week, they have run out but they tell me they are hoping to get more in next month, or I can try this Bulgarian one if I like”.

I wonder what you and your council at the GDC would make of that.

2016 #12

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