DON’T JUST TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT…
Read what our happy sellers have to say…
When you have made the big decision to sell your practice you want know what people who were once in a similar situation to you, thought of their experience with Rodericks. We hope this will help.
We had thought about selling the practice for a few years. We both loved being dentists but we had grown less fond of the compliance aspects and the general running of the business. We agreed that we wanted to spend the final few years of our careers doing dentistry, rather than CQC inspections.
Having owned Kyrle Street Dental Practice for more than 20 years, we wanted to find a buyer who would build upon the ethos we had maintained over that time. We approached Rodericks Dental after meeting a dentist who had previously sold a practice to the group.
We found Rodericks to be very straightforward and friendly, so we were happy to move forwards with them. We had spoken to other corporates in the past, but didn’t get the same feel that we did with Rodericks – who we related to much better. Another factor at play was that our practice is also a prototype for the new NHS contract, so it was important to us that the new owner had experience with this, which the group did.
It was also good to know that Rodericks was willing to invest in our staff through its opportunities for training and education, helping them to develop their skills. One of the biggest worries when selling a practice is how to look after the team, so knowing that they would have these opportunities to advance their careers was of huge value.
Another consideration was that selling to Rodericks would enable us to remain in the practice – this might not have been an option if we’d proceeded with a private sale. It provided a way of handing over the responsibilities of running the business, while still safeguarding the team and bringing in new opportunities.
At a fairly early stage in proceedings, we visited Rodericks’ Head Office and this was definitely beneficial. We were able to put faces to names, get to know the team a little better and get a feel for how the company worked, which was helpful.
The process itself took us very slightly longer than we had expected, but it then it was a complicated process. We retained ownership of the building and as we have a sub-tenant, the surrendering of the existing lease agreement and creation of a new one made the process more complicated than initially anticipated.
The financial negotiations were amicable. We found that everyone at the Rodericks Head Office were really friendly and very nice to deal with, which can make a big difference when going through something as stressful as selling a dental practice.
The hardest aspect of all is making the emotional decision to sell. Once we got our heads around that, we could focus on the practicalities.
Telling the staff was also very difficult. Many of our team members had been with us for a long time and we were very keen to ensure that they wouldn’t be negatively impacted by the change in ownership. The nature of change can be frightening for individuals, so the timing of that conversation was crucial. Too early and a lack of information could make staff more anxious than they needed to be, while too late could make them may feel alarmed. We did think it was important once we had shared our plans, to keep everyone up-to-date with our progress henceforth.
A member of the Rodericks management team visited the practice only days after we had informed every one of our decision. He made it clear that there wouldn’t be any immediate shocks or changes to the practice. He was also happy to answer any questions that individuals had and help put their mind at ease with regards to the transition process and beyond. Throughout this time, Rodericks were very sensitive to our needs and those of our team.
Before the acquisition, I was employed as a dental nurse. It was only after Rodericks came into the equation that I was promoted to practice manager, and I haven’t looked back since. Funnily enough, it wasn’t actually part of my career plan to become a practice manager, as I had intended to go into NVQ assessing and training. However, when the position came up and my district manager suggested that I apply, I knew it was an opportunity not to be missed. And I must say, I absolutely love it!
Ever since I took the job the support has been amazing, especially with the managerial aspect of the role, which I had less experience in; I can’t fault the process whatsoever. In fact, I think internal recruitment and training is one of Rodericks’ greatest strengths, partly because of its attitude towards ‘home grown talent’, but also because it understands the importance of continuing professional development and career progression. The opportunities available are growing all the time. It’s always been good, but in the two years I’ve been working for Rodericks, there have been several courses introduced to help us deliver an even higher standard of patient care. It truly is an amazing company to work for.
Before the transition, I was very nervous about moving over to a bigger company. It was only after Mark Walker, Corporate Services Manager, visited the practice to tell us about the company and how it works that I was able to see how positive the acquisition was going to be. I remember being particularly pleased at the time to hear of the clinical backgrounds and experience of the directors, because it’s not too often that you have the pleasure of a clinical board. With regard to patients there was very little disruption during the transition, and they were all informed about a month before completion to give them time to adjust to the change.
Altogether, the four-month transition period went extremely smoothly for my team and I, thanks to the support of Rodericks and our district manager at the time. Right from the beginning it was very clear that the group takes a unique approach to acquisitions, and that the team genuinely cares about its staff as much as the patients.
Fast forward two years and I have no concerns at all. The training is much better with Rodericks, there’s far more support available, and the managerial hierarchy is considerably better organised – not just at board level but on the ground within the practices too. It’s not generic like some corporate practices either. The internal policies and procedures may have changed – for the better might I add – but the atmosphere is still very much the same as before and we are still a small town, family-friendly practice as far as our patients are concerned.
If you were to ask me which policies and protocols have been improved exactly, I’d have to say all of them – the transformation has been extensive to say the least. We’re also now paperless and all the surgeries have been updated so the service we offer is much more efficient. Our area monthly meetings help us to stay up to date too and we receive a bulletin every week of ‘what’s happening now’, which facilitates communication between head office and ourselves.
To any practice currently undergoing or due to undergo an acquisition by Rodericks, then, I would say not to worry – you’re in good hands.
Sara Ryan, Practice Manager at West Quay Dental Practice (Wales).
I began training as a dental nurse in 2007, at the University Dental Hospital in Cardiff. I loved it – seeing the joy in patients’ faces after treatment was such a bonus of the job. I learned a lot and had the pleasure of going out on domiciliary visits in the community. After my training finished, I started working for a corporate in Caerphilly. The pace was quicker than in the hospital, which I preferred, and it was lovely getting to know the patients.
I left to go on maternity leave and after my daughter was born, I began working part-time in a practice closer to my home. I worked was on reception more, so I began to find my feet with the admin side of things. I found this interesting and still had interaction with patients, so I was happy. In 2012, a friend asked if I could help out at another practice, as they were short-staffed and struggling. I fell in love with the place – the patients were great, the team was friendly and helpful and I immediately knew that this was where I wanted to be. I went to work there full-time as a dental nurse, but I remained involved with the reception team and learnt about policy and procedures. When Rodericks Dental bought the practice in 2017, I applied for the role of practice manager and was thrilled to get the job.
I started in March last year and things have come on so much since then. We have new premises, patients, policies, computer systems and staff. We have also grown significantly, with six surgeries instead of four. Luckily, I like a challenge!
After joining the group
As it was before and as it is now the practice has joined the group, the patients are my number-one priority. What I really love about my role is that I still get to see them and interact. I ensure that they are getting the best treatment in the safest environment, delivered by friendly, knowledgeable and competent staff. I also manage the day-to-day running of the practice, making sure that we have the correct equipment and enough stock for our surgeries to take place. I supervise staffing issues, including sickness and holidays. I check the dentists’ NHS claims both daily and monthly to make sure we don’t miss anything and get paid correctly by the Health Board. At the end of every month, I check the dentists’ private pay, too. I keep folders with policies and procedures up-to-date and correct, and double-check the daily cashing up, inputting the data for the accounts department. I also hold monthly team meetings to give out essential information and updates, and also to listen to any issues that people might have. One of the most important parts of my role is to make sure that everyone is happy, or as close to it as possible! A happy team makes being at work so much more enjoyable.
I have grown in confidence and the support network is fantastic. If I am ever stuck with anything, I can ask one of the other practice managers in my area, or even within the company, for advice. There are also knowledgeable area managers to speak to, or I can go to the practice manager trainer or one of the dental nurse trainers. Then there is head office for things like IT, HR issues and any questions about marketing. No matter how small my query, I have always been made to feel welcome and valued by people who are ready to help and will do whatever they can to make sure that all staff are happy and that patients get what they need. We really are one big team.
Rodericks offers some amazing conferences, as well as ongoing education. There is a lot of training available for practice managers and they are looking into more courses for dental nurses at the moment. Not only have I had great career progression, but I am also training some of the dental nursing team to be able to cover my role when I am away. I’m proud to say that they have shown so much potential. Ongoing training not only helps you become better at your job, but also helps you to progress further along your chosen career pathway. There are so many opportunities if you work hard and are willing to learn.
As for job satisfaction, I know I have done my job well when I see happy staff and happy patients. At my practice, we are 100 per cent committed to the provision of excellent patient care. That is what it is all about for me and this ethos is very much shared by the group.
Sarah Phipps, Practice Manager at Castle Care Dental Practice (Birmingham).
I had already worked at the practice as a receptionist for 17 years when I found out that Rodericks would be acquiring the practice. Initially, I was quite apprehensive about what that would mean, as I expected a lot of changes and was concerned that these would cause patients and members of staff to go elsewhere. Thankfully, this did not happen.
Taking the plunge
I was convinced by colleagues – and patients – to go for the position of Practice Manager following the acquisition. I was passionate about maintaining the same unique feel of the practice throughout and beyond the transition period, and this role gave me the chance to oversee this.
I am very proud to have achieved what I set out to do. Our whole team has remained together and I still see the same patients I have seen for the past 19 years. I know every person that walks through our doors and I don’t just mean that I know their names! The practice team is also amazing – I couldn’t have got to where I am without their support. I love my role as I’m able to chat with patients and my colleagues every day and really get to know them.
No Looking back
With regards to Rodericks, the group has done everything for me. The various Head Office teams have provided nothing but support for my team and I: they’ve been amazing. I’m a very to-the-point person and I appreciate that I know who to contact with a query and that I can call them directly. I really like how I’ve been treated by all the Directors and the various support teams.
While my heart wants to stay in this lovely practice, my head is suggesting that I might like to work with practices who are new to the Rodericks group in order to help them through their own transition. It’s not something I’m ready to do just yet, but I am confident that there will be opportunities like this to progress with Rodericks in the years to come.”
“A couple of years ago, Rodericks took over the practice I’ve worked at for over 10 years. Since then, I have been able to try new things and progress my career in ways I hadn’t thought about before.”
Trying new things
“For example, I currently mentor two dentists in their respective PLVE years (formerly DFTQ). In addition, alongside my full-time UDA commitments, I am able to spend time with the Recruitment Team as a Recruitment Advisor. This role involves interviewing potential new dentists for the group.
“I have found both these new endeavours to be really rewarding and I am sure there will be more opportunities to come with Rodericks in the future.
Embracing the change
“For anyone who might be facing a similar situation, I would advise that if you can embrace the initial transition stage and all the inevitable changes that come with it, then you’ll discover all kinds of opportunities that you might not have previously considered. Rodericks is a great group to work for.”