Cancer screening practice polishes up

A dental practice that prides itself on its oral cancer screening has scooped a top regional prize for staff training.

Perfect 32 dental practice has achieved exemplary standards of clinical care through its investment in the dental team, resulting in its referral rates doubling since 2007.

As a result, the team has been chosen as finalists in The National Training Awards for the Yorkshire and Humber region.

The ceremony is to take place at Leeds Town Hall on Tuesday 28 September.

The practice was opened in February 2006 by Gary and Nicki Rowland, and has grown from one surgery with four staff to three surgeries with 12 employees.

It provides both NHS and private dentistry, and has invested in several specialist initiatives.

An implantologist and maxillofacial consultant work from the practice, offering advanced restorative treatment and bone augmentation procedures.

The practice also has one of the first Velscopes in East Yorkshire, which is an advanced oral cancer screening system that allows for early detection, referral and intervention, potentially saving lives.

Perfect 32 gives all its team members annual appraisals and training needs analyses.

Everyone has a personal training plan which is symbiotic with the practice objectives which include increasing turnover, raising the level of NHS and private patients, and achieving top patient satisfaction scores.

The training needs analyses highlights any appropriate training that is required, and the company then looks to source it.

The design and content of the learning programme is dependent on skills required by team members to meet the practice’s objectives, and takes into consideration the individual’s learning styles and personalities.

So, for example, two nurses were required to update the importance of accurate dental record keeping.

They both love the TV drama CSI, and the practice found a forensics dentistry course that met their learning requirement and interest.

A variety of teaching methods is used, from formal learning to mentoring, and adheres to the training budget of £15,000 a year.

All staff underwent two days of Velscope training in 2007 with private provider, Optident.

In addition, all practice staff receive seven days of mandatory training each year with HMHT NHS Trust in compliance with clinical governance regulations.

There are also Train to Gain-funded ILM courses, to improve culture and customer care in the practice, as well as more specialised training, such as an ILM Level 5 Diploma in Management, undertaken by the practice manager from September 2008 to January 2009 with UMD Professional.

As a result of this, the practice manager now has a greater insight into the practical application of management systems, as well as gaining PR, marketing and leadership skills.

A course on composite restorations enabled the principal dentist to provide an expert service to patients in a unique area of work that does not always involve the use of a laboratory, therefore, reducing the cost to patients.

Staff retention is 100%, up from 87.5% in 2007, and patient satisfaction scores are also up: 99% for private patients and 97.5% for NHS ones. In addition 553 people have received oral cancer screening between 2007 and 2010.

Gary Rowland, principal dentist, says: ‘Perfect 32 has seen rapid growth over the four years it has been trading. A strategy for developing and improving exemplary performance of the team has been essential to the organisation reaching its objectives.

‘Everyone has clearly-defined job roles and have signed up to and understand the part they play at work. Staff are encouraged to take ownership and responsibility by being involved in decision making and are recognised and valued for their contribution to the business.’

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