Dental professionals mean business

Dental practitioners gathered together recently for a seminar that aimed to help maximise practice performance.

Midlands dentists gathered at Sixways Stadium, Worcester, for the intensive learning experience.

Sponsored by accountants Ballard Dale Syree Watson, law firm Harrison Clark, Dr Alun Rees, professional business coach and Smith & Williamson Financial Services, the evening seminar – Maximise your Practice performance – was devised to give delegates guidance on the need to become more commercially focused in the way they develop and run their practices.

The seminar programme included speaker content from four professionals with aims to help dental practitioners achieve their goals and aspirations.

Dentist Paul Elliott, who attended the seminar, launched Northwick Manor Dental Practice with his colleague Simon Gumbley in 2006, barely nine months before the UK’s recession started to have a negative impact on many start-up private practices.

He has first-hand experience in developing a business in a less than ‘conducive for growth’ economic climate.

Mr Elliott says: ‘I think what you have to remember about dentists is that primarily we are clinicians. However, in today’s healthcare arena, with burgeoning regulation, increasing operational costs and the never-ending changes in the NHS dental contract, we have to be business people as much as anything.

‘Like any business we need advice and guidance from those professionals who have expert knowledge in their particular field.

‘We are still feeling the backlash of the recession despite the general air of optimism that the economy is emerging from it, and this has an effect on dentistry as a business enterprise. On top of all the other pressures, our first priority is to give exceptional levels of care to our patients. In common with many practices, Northwick Manor’s client base has been built up through the referral process so we will not compromise the quality of our services.’

The seminar was devised to motivate as well as inform.

Michael White of Smith & Williamson Financial Services, whose idea it was to hold the seminar, addressed delegates on the complexities of the NHS pension scheme and the merits of self-invested  pension plans for those in private practice.

Professional coach and former dentist, Dr Alun Rees’ session was entitled The 101 things they didn’t teach you at Dental School. Dr Rees has helped many clients identify and overcome barriers to growth, achieve optimum performance and reach fulfilment both professionally and personally.

Mr Elliott, who is a client of Ballard Dale Syree Watson, concluded: ‘It was an excellent evening with four short, concise presentations on areas of key importance to all dentists. As the owner of a fully private dental practice in Worcester, I found the legal advice on Care Quality Commission registration particularly helpful and eye-opening.

‘It was also a great opportunity to make contact with specialist financial and business advisers in a relaxed and informal setting. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and have already signed up for the next seminar!’

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