The Ethos of the Practice
We created our new practice primarily to offer better dental services and an improved experience for our local Shoreham community. The practice was designed to be fully inclusive and is accessible throughout for our disabled patients. It aims to provide a comfortable and calming dental experience for all.
Annalize and I both came to the UK from South Africa, where Annalize qualified as a dentist in Pretoria in 1996 and I previously worked in Pharmaceutical Sales for GSK. Annalize was headhunted by the IDH group and relocated to work in London in 2001. We then moved to Shoreham-by-Sea to set up our first dental practice in 2006.
Our original four-surgery practice was located very close by to our new clinic – in an old Victorian building in a Shoreham residential area. The property had been used as a dental practice for over 50 years and we had extended it twice to accommodate our growing business, but it was being used to its fullest capacity and parking was scarce – it was time to look for somewhere new to expand into.
Better access and increased parking for our patients were two of our main priorities, so when we found the premises at Mariner Point – with its prime location and sizeable car park – we were immediately interested. The entire 18,000 sq ft ground floor space was available which enabled us to design our 4,200 sq ft practice exactly as we wanted it.
Having worked in a restrictive period property for many years, we wanted our new practice to be spacious and entirely accessible for our patients as well as provide a highly comfortable working environment for our 19 staff members. We are at the forefront of digital dentistry and the well-designed space allows us to freely move our digital equipment around the practice.
We appointed Apollo Interiors as the design and build contractor on the project because of their expertise and experience in creating outstanding dental clinics. The team, especially our project manager Martyn, were fantastic to work with from the start and we can’t stop singing their praises! We had a clear idea on how we wanted the practice to look and operate, and Apollo Interiors allowed us as much input as we wanted throughout the project – I don’t think many other fit out companies would have done that. We would certainly recommend them and use them for any future projects.
The new practice has been designed to flow optimally – it has extra wide corridors and large rooms so there is a lot of space. As a result, it never feels crowded or busy anywhere and the atmosphere is very calm and relaxed. Every one of the spacious surgeries is wheelchair-accessible (and can also easily accommodate dentists attending for observation and training with Annalize for both endodontics and implantology).
We’ve also considered our staff’s needs as carefully as our patients’ – the staffroom is well proportioned with air conditioning and soundproofing, so our team can properly relax during their breaks. We’ve also installed in- and out- doors in the decontamination room, so staff can move about easily and not worry about bumping into each other. It’s small touches like these that make a big difference to our working environment.
Our spacious staffroom is designed to double-up as a lecture room and we aim to start utilizing the space in the near future for clinical lectures and training.
The design of the practice is certainly unique – from the curved walls to the colourful artwork throughout. Annalize is a talented photographer and artist, and art inspired by her travels can be found on many of our walls. It’s reminiscent of a colourful art gallery and we’ve recently had members of the public popping in just to view her artwork!
We’ve featured the new clinic on our social media and are launching a new website to accompany the launch of the new practice – this will include a walkthrough tour of the new premises and new photography. We’ve received many wonderful customer reviews – the team is very proactive in asking for feedback and automated review requests are sent to every patient once their treatment plan is complete. We also encourage reviews to be left on iPads in reception and ensure that we personally respond to every review that is left. Furthermore, Annalize receives referrals for both endodontic and implant treatment and referring dentists have made contact to inform us of patient’s positive feedback regarding their treatment and the practice as a whole.
We are delighted with our new practice. We have had so much positive feedback from our patients about the improved premises and parking. It’s wonderful to see the reaction of people as they walk in, and everyone comments on how visually striking the new practice is.
And it’s not just the patients who are impressed – since opening the new practice, we’ve had three former members of staff ask if they can return!