How I opened the practice of my dreams
Anisha Patel, owner of the White & Co independent group of dental practices, explains how she came to open her latest premium practice, on the site of her dreams.
Battersea Power Station, 5 Circus Road West, London, SW11 8EZ
Telephone: 020 4531 1144
Email: [email protected]
White & Co is an independent group of dental practices dedicated to providing high quality private dentistry in locations convenient for millions of Londoners. Our practices at Battersea Rise, West Wickham and the iconic Battersea Power Station offer a blend of general and cosmetic dentistry and facial aesthetics provided by a team of discreet, caring and highly experienced professionals.
White & Co is about more than exceptional treatments. It is also about trust. We want to educate and inform our patients by having in-depth conversations that will explain our recommendations and help patients take control of their oral health. Our aim is for patients to leave our care feeling rejuvenated by the life-changing results we have delivered.
White & Co. Battersea Power Station is a new premium dental and aesthetics practice located within the innovative Battersea Power Station development project. Situated on the south bank of the River Thames, the iconic Battersea Power Station is a Grade II* listed structure, famed for its Art Deco interiors and four chimney layout.
The redevelopment in 2013, brought back to life the building and surrounding area as an exciting mixed-use neighbourhood for locals, tourists and residents. They are now able to enjoy a unique blend of shops, restaurants and open spaces.
My new dental practice
The process of obtaining my new squat practice within the Battersea development started in 2019. What interested me most about the project was that as part of the scheme certain units were allocated specifically to small local businesses, leaving the rest of the development for more established retail operations.
This prestigious redevelopment project is really design-led, with conservation of the art deco structure at its heart, so the team at Battersea chose the dental practice through a rigorous tender process. They were particularly interested in the design of our practice from the outset.
We had to present detailed plans of how the finished practice would look, our business plan and our financial viability. I was absolutely thrilled when we won the tender and I couldn’t wait to get started.
I’ve always loved the power station building; – it’s so magical with the whole art deco vibe to it. It’s close to the river and so much has been done to regenerate the area. Later this year Battersea Power Station will have its own new Zone 1 underground station, one of the few tube stations in the south west of London, and overall the transport links to the area are much improved.
I have another practice not far away on Battersea Rise, so commercially it also makes sense as I can utilise my staff for both sites, which I think will really help for the success of this squat practice.
The building and furnishing of the practice began in 2019 and Simon (Hemsted) and the team from Henry Schein Dental were involved from the start. I’m the owner of an independent group of practices and White & Co. is the brand of my private practices.
Historically I’ve used different companies on various refurb projects with varying results, but Henry Schein are so professional in everything they do – I couldn’t have put this iconic project in any safer hands. Simon had everything in hand, and I knew I had a safety net with him there. He has such deep product knowledge and his advice to me was like gold dust.
Looking at the Battersea Power Station development and especially the design elements, I felt confident that Henry Schein could build something to the exact standards we were looking for. I knew Simon and the team would be able to work closely with my interior designers to produce something that was not just aesthetically pleasing, but functional as well. After all it’s no good if everything looks lovely if it’s not practical to use.
I loved the fact that my interior designers were ready to push the boundaries, but Simon was the one considering their ideas, while making sure everyone was happy and onboard. One example of this was the cabinetry. Everything is designed to be hidden, there are no handles on show which gives a really sleek finish and is dirt and dust-proof and of course CQC compliant.
I had my architect draw up the design of the four new surgeries and give an indication of where everything should go but left it to Simon to have the final say and make sure that everything was completely user-friendly. We purchased our surgical equipment through Henry Schein Dental and their engineers came to fit out, test and provide essential staff training – everything was always delivered on time and to specification. Two of the four surgeries have now been completed and the other two will be installed soon.
Of course, no one could prepare for the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic would bring for us all. During the first lockdown all building work on the development stopped so considerably delays occurred. Once work restarted there were very stringent rules about how many people were allowed on site. PPE had to be worn, which naturally slowed things down even more.
To add to the problem there was also a change of management at Battersea Power Station. This caused further issues and delays.
The build was meant to take three months but actually took five. Despite all the unforeseen delays we were finally ready to open in January 2021. We ran a comprehensive social media campaign prior to the opening which happily resulted in a lot of patients already booked in for consultations from the start.
In the end we are dentists and project managing a job like this is not necessarily our forte. Simon and the Henry Schein team have years of experience – it’s what they do. You have to work with people you can trust and leave them to do the job. It relieves your mind and stress levels so you can focus on your business.
Working in this way enabled me to concentrate on the practice. It is one of the reasons why we’ve had a full appointment book since opening. I wasn’t chasing my tail worrying about small details of the build. Instead, I could work on getting patients into the diary which is vital for the success of my business plan.
Simon was enthusiastic and genuinely interested about the project which is great for a customer like me. It was more than just performing a job and the whole team’s expertise and guidance was fantastic. I felt I was 100% in safe hands and I wouldn’t work with anyone else now.
Companies and equipment involved in the project
Valore Healthcare managed and delivered the project, with Apollo Dental acting as main contractor. Valore Healthcare provides a full turn-key solution to deliver a unique, bespoke, and uncompromising product for their clients. They combine extensive real estate, design and project management experience to competitively source and seamlessly deliver a medical practice that reflects their client’s vision.
Grey Associates, Architectural & Dental Design Solutions