I have recently started doing some work for the Care Quality Commission or CQC. They inspect, amongst other things, dental practices and a dentist goes with the inspector when they visit a practice.
One Monday off I went to a practice in South Yorkshire. I walked up the path, which had a big hole in it, forced the door open, which didn’t fit well and went in. The floor was a horrible fake wood laminate that was coming up in places, the walls looked a bit damp and in need of some paint and that was just the entrance hall! You had to open a door to get into reception. Once in I nearly tripped over the 30 plus years old rocking horse that sat in the middle of the room.
My heart had sunk quite some way. I was lifted though by the receptionist. She gave me a big smile, a friendly welcome and offered me a drink.
The rest of the building was similar to the entrance, in need of some TLC. I was dying to give it a makeover. All through the visit though we came across good staff who knew their job, were helpful and friendly.
After we had done the “dental bit” myself and my colleague (as a beginner I was shadowing), caught up with the CQC inspector. I was keen to know what she was going to put in her report. Not surprisingly she had many recommendations for the owner.
Now prior to an inspection the CQC ask for feedback cards to be filled out my patients and we opened the box of these cards. The practice had got about 20 filled out. Everyone was very similar. Did they criticise the practice? Not one bit. Each was full of praise of the lovely team that looked after them.
Now I have put a lot of effort into the physical building of Lindley Dental. Luckily, I haven’t left it at that but tried to nurture my staff. I encourage them to learn and develop and to look after our patients in a friendly yet efficient manner. I am proud of my team and they make the practice. As my visit showed the staff matter more to the patients than nice décor.
So, if you haven’t yet been to see us do come and allow us to look after you. If you are already one of our lovely patients, I hope you rate my staff as highly as I do.