Investing in success

Covent Garden Dental Practice principal Reena Ali and chartered occupational psychologist and CQC consultant Aida Mujan explain why investing in their team has allowed the practice to deliver award-winning service

Proud winners of Best Team at the Private Dentistry Awards and Best Patient Care UK at the Dentistry Awards in 2018, Covent Garden Dental Practice (CGDP) is no stranger to receiving awards. However, the practice, in the heart of central London, takes nothing for granted.

Under the leadership of Reena Ali, practice owner and principal, the last year has been another of unwavering commitment to delivering the highest standards of patient care in a modern, luxurious environment; perfectly adapted for patients and staff.

Reena explains what these awards mean to the team: ‘We are so grateful and inspired by the recognition from our industry leaders. It is an enormous boost for the team which works tirelessly to deliver exceptional patient care.

We were delighted to be award recipients in 2014 and 2015, so to be winners again in 2018 is tremendous. It gives us so much pride to be a part of the team and provides complete assurance to our patients.’

What lies behind the team’s success is the consistent and genuine focus on patient care, ‘The team is highly accomplished, experienced and loyal. We believe that delivering outstanding standards of dentistry is only possible through good organisation, communication, trust, responsibility and delegation. Team morale is upheld with regular training, up-to-date Care Quality Commission (CQC) knowledge and a holistic management approach.’

Right environment

At CGDP significant time and resources are invested in the practice team. Chartered occupational psychologist and internal CQC consultant Aida Mujan believes this is essential. She said: ‘Being a repetitive job by nature keeping staff well-motivated and focused on patient care requires investment in building team spirit and a truly cohesive unit.

‘Staff events and development is a priority for us. Last year, we encouraged everyone to get involved in charity projects for example educating and donating oral hygiene aids to a South African orphanage and we also organised a World Cup football party for our nearby residents.’

Another cornerstone to the practice’s success has been Reena’s commitment to creating an impeccable environment for patients and the team. In the eight years since taking on practice ownership she has led a complete overhaul of the practice infrastructure.

Aida explains: ‘Creating the right environment is an important factor in our success and we are constantly working to enhance the space. We are right in the centre of Covent Garden, in the middle of a residential complex, so there has never been any scope to extend or expand our footprint. We’ve had to be innovative to maximise every inch of floor space.

‘Over the years a number of distinct projects have delivered four surgeries with new equipment and cabinetry, a purpose-built decontamination room, a dedicated powder room, and an updated reception area.’

The most recent update to the practice added a new staff room and stock area. Aida said: ‘SPS Dental and Modwood helped us design and build a really effective staff area which includes a redesigned bathroom, relaxation area and personal storage, as well as stock cupboards; everything is easily accessible now for the nurses.

‘We’ve also installed a computer station for staff use during breaks and importantly we can use the screen for our bespoke training events. Developing a staff area that is pleasant and well equipped adds to the feeling we care about our staff and wish to invest in their wellbeing.’


Selecting the right partnership to help deliver her vision for the practice has been crucial. For this support Reena has always turned to Ian Gocking at SPS Dental.

She said: ‘Over the years we have developed a very productive and trusting relationship with Ian. He has always spent as much time with us as needed to fully understand our requirements. We’ve never felt pressured, always openly discussing products and services from a wide range of companies to make sure we choose what is best for the practice.

‘He has helped us meticulously plan our practice refurbishment over a number of phases and, while at times it has been challenging, he has only ever been professional and helpful; working with us to deliver an exceptional end result that makes the most of the space we have.’

For Reena, choosing the right equipment involves considering a number of aspects. She explains: ‘When making new purchases we consider a range of factors including quality, purchase and maintenance costs and usability – both by patients and our dental professionals. If you take our decision to select Belmont Cleo II folding leg rest chairs as a prime example.

‘From our patients’ perspective, they often tell us they feel they are sitting in a comfy chair, which is very calming for nervous patients and aligned with our philosophy of providing a welcoming, comfortable and calm environment. From the practitioner’s point of view, the upright style facilitates easy communication with the patient and our team like the rotating operator’s console, which is ergonomically designed for both the dentist and assistant.

‘Additionally, from a financial standpoint, we found all our Belmont chairs to be extremely reliable, saving us engineers’ fees and surgery downtime. On the rare occasion we’ve needed support, Belmont’s technical team has always delivered excellent service.’

Despite repeated success, Reena and her team still have their feet firmly on the ground. ‘The process of putting together our award submissions has brought huge benefits to our team. It is an opportunity for everyone to be involved, review and evaluate who we are, what we do and what makes us stand out from the crowd. At the same time we acknowledge there is always room for improvement.’

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