King of communication

The Practice Plan Workshop Tour is underway and fronting this year’s tour is one of dentistry’s most influential consultants, Ashley Latter. Ashley is expert in all things ‘communication’, specialising in creating a world-class patient journey and a high performing practice team. The tour began this month, stopping first in Manchester before moving around the country, hitting another 10 dates.

As bookings continue to flow in, Practice Plan caught up with Gayna Horridge, practice manager at Cahill Dental Centre in Bolton, to understand how Ashley has recently helped them to deliver a patient experience set to ‘wow’.

What made you seek out Ashley’s expertise and enlist his support?

Gayna: When we began working with Chris Barrow many years ago, Ashley’s course was recommended to us as a next step to help improve our communication skills with both team and patients and to help take our patient experience to a higher level.

How did you find Ashley’s presentation style during the session?

Gayna: Ashley’s style is very relaxed and informal. He has a great ability to put the group at ease so that they feel comfortable stepping out of their comfort zone. The sessions are built so the group has lots of fun while learning new skills at the same time.

What three words would you use to describe Ashley from a business perspective?

Gayna: Enthusiastic, passionate and motivational – the business knowledge he imparts on his course makes a real difference to practices and their businesses.

How essential is ‘perfecting communication’ in your business?

Gayna: Communication within our business is paramount between all members of the team, as is how we communicate with our patients. It’s our job to ensure that the patient understands all treatment options available to them, allowing them to make an informed decision about their treatment. It’s also essential that all team members provide consistent information to patients.

How has this course helped you improve your communication with your team and your patients?

Gayna: The course helped to give the entire team, from reception to clinical staff, the confidence to build stronger relationships with new and existing patients. Building rapport and getting to know people, taking the time to explain solutions to patients in a language they understand and feeling comfortable when doing so, are all areas we’ve improved in. It has also helped us to put protocols in place so that each team member ‘sings from the same hymn sheet’ when speaking to a patient. The team can also comfortably deal with objections from patients when they have a concern about any aspect of their treatment.

What’s the biggest change you’ve noticed since attending Ashley’s course?

Gayna: Confidence within the team and a huge increase in sales the moment his advice was put into action.

Has attending this course made you closer as a team and if so, why do you think this is?

Gayna: As a team, we all know that each of us now has the same skills to communicate with our patients, so we know we can rely on each other to build relationships and present treatment options to our patients. We value the course so much that, when we employ a new team member, they are sent on Ashley’s course to learn the skills that the rest of the team have.

A final thought

Ashley’s course is worth every penny, but you have to put in to place what you learn. I could not imagine communicating with patients any other way now; it has become second nature to me and the rest of our team!

If you think your practice could do with the Ashley Latter touch, visit for a list of dates and locations – the tour is sure to be visiting a city near you. Alternatively, if you’d like to talk to the events team, call 0845 003 0048.

Become a Dentistry Online member

Become a member
Add to calendar