Louise Bone discusses with Colin Gardner how DPAS’s membership plan has helped to manage issues such as a recession and increased regulation.
As with all small businesses, dental practices are subject to external factors, such as market forces and legislation, that are beyond their control. While that may be the case, with the support of the right membership plan you can maintain a greater command over your business’ future and manage through such issues with minimal worry.
Here, Colin Gardner, principal dentist and owner of Botanics Dental Care in Glasgow, shares his experience of how a plan helped him navigate through an economic downturn and has supported his practice since then.
Colin: ‘I took over the practice in April 2008 and then, in October, along came the biggest recession that I can remember. During that time of economic downturn, the number of patients on the DPAS plan actually grew and provided a good regular source of income despite the uncertainty of what was happening in the wider economy. This helped to provide a level of financial stability for the business, not to mention giving me peace of mind.
‘This is one of the key reasons why I operate a plan in my practice; patients on a plan are more proactive, and therefore committed, about attending their appointments. Not only does this bring about a level of constancy, as mentioned, but it also means patients are generally more aware of and invested in their oral health, and motivated about preventative dental care. Delivering a quality preventative programme is at the core of what we do in our practice, and the membership plan supports that, not least by making it affordable for patients.
‘DPAS’s plan is also affordable for the business, which is one of the reasons we have stayed with them for over a decade. I’ve found that they have just the right balance in terms of cost and the quality of service I, and my team, receive.
‘The service I receive from DPAS, and my business development consultant, Louise Bone, is truly excellent. Over the past 18 months or so we’ve had a couple of new pieces of regulation to deal with, GDPR and the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD), and the support I’ve had from them, and continue to have, was second to none.
‘In both cases, Louise informed us well in advance of the changes that were coming and provided us with support to manage them efficiently, for example through training and providing us with the new literature we needed for patients. Having this information and the resources so early on meant I was confident not only that we were compliant with the new regulations, but also that my team could explain the changes and our solution to patients.
‘Louise is a constant support to us throughout the year, we see her regularly and it is so helpful to have an external person who can come in with a fresh pair of eyes. Sometimes when you’re busy with the day-to-day running of the practice you can become blinkered to things that could be improved with relatively simple fixes.
‘With her background of working in practice, Louise understands what we’re going through and uses not only her own knowledge, but also her insight from working with other practices, to help us find solutions to issues or explore new ways of doing things. We’re happy to have her in our team, particularly as we have exciting plans for the practice’s future, including growing our implant referral base and expanding our team.’