Your Dental Manager Embraces South West England

We are delighted to announce that from 1st May 2017, Your Dental Manager has expanded its reach into the South West of England through an exciting and valuable alliance with well known Plymouth dentist Charlie Fox and practice business manager Edd Jones.

Charlie and Edd will be delivering a wide range of strategic and business management support, coaching and mentoring under the Your Dental Manager umbrella, to independent dental practices across the South West and we welcome them warmly into the YDM family.

Charlie and Edd’s experience, skills and knowledge, combined with those of the established Your Dental Manager team and resources, will quickly bring added benefit to existing and new client practices.

Dr. Charlie Fox BDS (U Birm.) LDSRCS (Eng.)

Charlie has been a dentist for 27+ years, having qualified via the Royal Navy in 1990.

Charlie initially worked in Scotland after leaving the  Navy in 1995. He moved to the South West in 1999, where he continued to work in various practices.

Charlie bought his own dental  practice in Plymouth in 2003, Hartley Dental.

Since owning Hartley, Charlie has built a fantastic environment for his patients, offering the highest levels of care and customer service.

Ensuring that his Practice is profitable, without compromising customer experience, is the key to Hartley Dental’s success

Charlie@yourdentalmanager.co.uk

Edd Jones

Edd came into the dental industry with extensive business and customer-service management experience.

This experience  includes working within the security, gaming and leisure Industry, all of which are  highly  competitive and customer-service driven industries.

Edd prides himself on offering simple, effective and measurable business, operational management and customer service advice, specifically designed to help your business grow and move onto the next level.

Edd has a proven track record of increasing profitability, reducing costs and effectively managing teams of people during his career and is a nominee for 2017 Practice Manager of the Year.

Edd@yourdentalmanager.co.uk

“Charlie and Edd of C & E Consult are delighted to have joined with Your Dental Manager.

We will make full use of the extensive business management resources and experience of YDM to bring maximum benefit to our clients in the YDM South West region.

We look forward to working closely with YDM and practices across the South West to help your business grow.”

On-line booking of introductory calls and practice visits is now available for Charlie and Edd to discuss their work and availability in the South West, or contact them directly by e-mail.

For appointments and enquiries in the rest of the UK and Ireland, please continue to book your appointments through the main on-line calendar or e-mail mark@yourdentalmanager.co.uk.

We all look forward to supporting many more practices across the thriving independent UK dental sector.

Your Dental Manager Embraces South West England

Job Opportunity – Practice Manager, Leeds

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This Position is now filled

My client in Guiseley, Leeds is looking for an experienced, well-organised and professional part-time Practice Manager to join and help lead an established, friendly family dental practice for 3 days per week.

The practice is within easy commuting distance of Leeds and Bradford, with excellent transport links

The successful applicant will support the Principal Dentist and team to deliver increasingly high standards of customer care, ensure all systems and procedures are kept updated and adhered to whilst maximising business opportunities and enhancing team performance.

Previous dental experience is preferred but not essential. Strong management, people and organisational skills are. If you have proven leadership skills, have successfully managed a team of people in the past and looking for a part-time position, we would like to talk with you.

Salary range is £20k – £22k (pro-rata) dependent on experience

Key Responsibilities:

  • To guide, direct and successfully manage an existing team of motivated and happy people
  • To ensure all non clinical systems within the practice run smoothly and efficiently, constantly improving these
  • To ensure we always give practical support and care to our patients, ensuring their experience is constantly improving
  • To enhance the financial performance of the practice
  • To manage compliance within all regulatory requirements using established processes and procedures

The successful applicant will be required to undertake an enhanced DBS check

If you would like to apply for this position, please forward your CV and a covering letter outlining how you think you can help the practice to leeds@yourdentalmanager.co.uk.

Job Opportunity – Practice Manager, Leeds

CQC Hotspots – March 2017

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Reviewing a further sample of 56 CQC dental inspection reports published over recent weeks, highlighted a number of compliance breaches which can easily be avoided, but which are still catching out some practices.

Of the 56 practices sampled, 5 practices were issued with breach notifications. Clearly the vast majority of practices are still getting things right, which is great news. All notices reviewed this month were issued for breaches within the Well Led standard.

In the spirit of continuous improvement and to try and help 100% of practices achieve a clean pass, here are some of the key-findings and recommendations from these very recent inspections, which might just keep another practice out of trouble.

  • Every month, two or three practices are being picked up on inadequate recruitment and staff induction procedures. Follow simple checklists and procedures to demonstrate that you are doing things correctly and keep records in staff files.
  • Ensure you are receiving, checking and taking action on relevant MHRA/CAS patient safety alerts. Dental practices don’t receive many but there must be a robust system in place to show that you identify and respond to any that are published.
  • Ensure that all sterilisation and clinical equipment is externally validated by professionals/suppliers in addition to the recommended routine/daily/weekly checks you are required to undertake.
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  • Audits are still seen without essential evidence of learning and action points. Don’t treat audits as a box-ticking exercise, use them to identify and resolve short-comings.
  • X-ray audits for quality and justification should be undertaken for each dentist, not on an individual surgery/equipment basis, as this could leave some dentists unchecked. Records should show all dentists are regularly audited.
  • Prescription and controlled medicines/drugs must be locked away and closely monitored.
  • Management of sharp injuries are regularly checked. Ensure procedures are in place and communicated to all the team. Incident/Accident Reporting records must be updated for each event.
  • The practice Health & Safety risk assessment must be kept up to date and where new or changed risks are identified, actions put in place to resolve quickly. Don’t delay as once identified, you have a responsibility to correct.
  • Check your electrical system inspections and certificates are all in place and up to date including Portable Appliance Testing. Frequency of re-test will be confirmed during each visit/inspection. More details from the Health & Safety Executive here.
  • Inspectors continue to come across missing or partially-completed, mandatory risk assessments including Sharps, Fire, Clinical Waste, COSHH and Manual Handling.
  • Remember to date and review all of your practice policies and procedures at least annually. If nothing has changed simply re-date to show that you have been there.
  • Don’t forget that associate dentists, therapists and hygienists should also have annual appraisals to review performance and identify training requirements.
  • Collecting and responding to patient feedback and comments is essential. Don’t just rely on the NHS Family & Friends test, which is just one specific measure.
  • Make sure that the Registered Manager/CQC lead has adequate time to complete all their duties and responsibilities. Practices have been picked up where the Principal dentist/owner has day to day responsibility but is in surgery for the majority of the week.
  • Take care with “Off the Shelf” or “In a Box” Policy and Procedure packs. They are an essential and valuable source of material for many practices, but each policy/procedure must be reviewed and personalised to the practice and the way you work.
  • Make sure that all the named individuals/leads in your policies/procedures still actually work at the practice. Update and replacement is essential.
  • The practice is responsible for overseeing CPD training – make sure you keep records of where everyone is within their CPD training cycle.
  • Keep on top of your fire log book and mandatory checks of fire equipment including  alarms and emergency lighting.
  • Ensure your fire procedures make provision for evacuation of patients with disabilities.
  • Don’t forget to book regular team meetings into the diary – ideally monthly – and keep records of agendas, minutes and action points from each. It is not enough for staff to say that everything is discussed and resolved informally during the working day.

As always, remember that if something is not recorded or evidenced, in the eyes of the CQC and other external bodies such as the NHS, it didn’t happen, even though you may know full well that it did! This continues to catch practices out, leading to frustration and avoidable stress for all!

Findings from previous inspection reviews can be found here:  CQC Hotspots

There is plenty of help out there to plug any management gaps including Your Dental Manager, so please do get in touch if you have any concerns or want to further improve the overall management/efficiency of your practice: info@yourdentalmanager.co.uk or check our on-line calendar to book a complimentary chat.

CQC Hotspots – March 2017

Making Tax Digital – Impact & Opportunity

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With the financial year end fast approaching for many practices owners and self-employed associates, therapist and hygienists, so starts the annual rush to pull all the reports, invoices, bank statements, cheque books, pay-in books and NHS schedules ready for sending into the accountant to find out how much profit you have made and just as important, how much tax you will need to pay over the next year.

This traditional year-end calculation of tax by your accountant is soon coming to an end as HMRC moves quickly towards a system of quarterly tax reporting with almost “real time” tax calculations and payments.

Consultations over the new system came to a close in November 2016 and the changes are moving towards a start date of April 2018 with legislation and final details due to be published in the 2017 Finance Bill later this year.

Under the proposals, all businesses with turnover in excess of £10,000 must move to quarterly electronic profit reporting, although this threshold may increase in the final legislation.

April 2018 is the first key date when all sole-traders and partnerships will need to be ready for what is a major change.

Corporation tax does not move across until April 2020 and so any practices or self-employed clinicians who are set up as limited companies will have an extra 2 years to prepare.

Many businesses are familiar with, and set up for, electronic quarterly reporting through completion of VAT returns  and the production of monthly or quarterly management information. For the VAT-exempt dental sector this will be a challenge, particularly as many practices don’t track financial performance through the year.

A further complication for NHS dental practices, will be the accurate reporting of profit. The monthly payment which drops into your bank account on the 1st of the month from the NHS rarely reflects the true earnings from NHS work over the last month, due to all the deductions you see on your schedule including superannuation payments, remissions, patient payments, levies, debt and repayment.

Where you are under or over-performing on your NHS contract, further adjustments are needed to reflect.

The good news is that the advent of Making Tax Digital should encourage more dentaldreamstime_xs_51946471 practices to start using electronic accounting software such as QuickBooks and Xero.NHS adjustments can easily be made on a monthly basis to reflect true delivery.

As most of my clients will know, I am a big fan of monitoring both financial and non-financial key performance indicators (KPIs), which give you a powerful insight into the business. You and your practice manager can easily see what is going well and where you can best focus your attention to grow the practice and nip any problems in the bud.

Accounting software quickly produces all the financial KPIs you need and when used alongside non-financial KPIs such as chair-occupancy, staff/patient satisfaction and waiting times, helps place you right in the driving seat with vital information at your fingertips in an easy to read format – often known as a Dashboard for all the right reasons.

Bank reconciliation is straightforward, with all transactions automatically downloaded from the bank, categorised and matched against invoices.

Once you have accounting software in place, you can easily create annual forecasts and instantly track actual performance against what you expect or hoped for. No more surprises and far more time to react, plan and make changes.

If the plans for Making Tax Digital help to give practices a better insight into their business whilst encouraging better planning and monitoring, you can start to see the opportunities appear.

As with PAYE, HMRC will be introducing basic on-line software for entry of quarterly information but with all the extra benefits arising from better management and financial control of your practice, now is a good time to take the plunge and try it for yourself ready for 2018 onwards.

I support and work with clients successfully using both QuickBooks and Xero and can help you set-up and run your new accounting software in conjunction with your accountant.

You can find out more about how QuickBooks On-Line works here, including the opportunity to test drive a demo, so that you can see for yourself just how easy it is to use.

If you are interested in finding out more, please get in touch through mark@yourdentalmanager.co.uk or book a complimentary telephone call using our on-line calendar.

Making Tax Digital – Impact & Opportunity

CQC Hotspots – February 2017

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Reviewing a further sample of 54 CQC dental inspection reports published over recent weeks, highlighted a number of compliance breaches which can easily be avoided, but which are still catching out some practices.

Of the 54 practices sampled, 6 practices were issued with breach notifications. Clearly the vast majority of practices are still getting things right, which is great news. All notices reviewed this month were issued for breaches within the Safe and Well Led standards.

In the spirit of continuous improvement and to try and help 100% of practices achieve a clean pass, here are some of the key-findings and recommendations from these very recent inspections, which might just keep another practice out of trouble.

  • Check to make sure that your recruitment policies and procedures are in place, up to date and followed closely. Particularly with regards to DBS checks, references and evidence of right to work in the UK
  • Ensure you are receiving, checking and taking action on relevant MHRA/CAS patient safety alerts
  • Ensure that patients don’t have access to empty surgeries, which should ideally be locked when not in use, or access restricted
  • Make sure prescription pads are kept securely and not left unattended
  • Always make sure that screens of unattended PCs are locked to avoid unauthorised access and switched off when not required
  • Check your training records are complete and up to date, particularly individual training records for Infection Control, Information Governance, Safeguarding and Health & Safety
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  • Dental materials must be kept securely and not accessible to patients
  • Don’t forget to record and keep vaccination records, including Hep B records, up to date for all clinical staff
  • X-Ray equipment should always be switched off at the master switch when not in use
  • General cleaning equipment should be stored securely, colour coded and segregated from clinical cleaning
  • Audits are still seen without essential evidence of learning and action points. Don’t treat audits as a box-ticking exercise, use them to identify and resolve short-comings
  • Make sure you implement recommendations from any risk assessments e.g. regular water temperature checks as part of your Legionella report
  • Remember to clearly define and respect “clean” and “dirty” zones within surgeries and decontamination units
  • All Lab work returned to practice should be disinfected before placement and evidenced on Lab records
  • Inspectors continue to come across missing or partially-completed, mandatory risk assessments including Sharps, Fire, Clinical Waste, COSHH and Manual Handling
  • Remember to date and review all of your practice policies and procedures at least annually. If nothing has changed simply re-date to show that you have been there.
  • Make sure that staff and patients have the opportunity to provide feedback and express concerns. Just as importantly, do something about the feedback and show you have listened
  • Check that dental records are being updated contemporaneously – ie during or immediately after the appointment
  • Some practices still don’t have a Radiation Protection Adviser appointed – this is mandatory
  • Make sure quality and safety audits are carried out on x-ray equipment in line with RPA/manufacturer recommendations
  • Back to basics – don’t forget daily testing and recording of your autoclave equipment
  • The practice is responsible for overseeing CPD training – make sure you keep records of where everyone is within their CPD training cycle
  • Keep on top of your fire log book and mandatory checks of fire equipment including  alarms and emergency lighting
  • Don’t forget to book regular team meetings into the diary – ideally monthly – and keep records of agendas, minutes and action points from each

As always, remember that if something is not recorded or evidenced, in the eyes of the CQC and other external bodies such as the NHS, it didn’t happen, even though you may know full well that it did! This continues to catch practices out, leading to frustration and avoidable stress for all!

Findings from previous inspection reviews can be found here:  CQC Hotspots

There is plenty of help out there to plug any management gaps including Your Dental Manager, so please do get in touch if you have any concerns or want to further improve the overall management/efficiency of your practice: info@yourdentalmanager.co.uk or check our on-line calendar to book a complimentary chat.

CQC Hotspots – February 2017

Make a Difference With Your Practice Appointment Diary

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Your practice appointment diary is a powerful tool at the heart of your business, with the Planning meetingpower to make or break the day for yourself, the team and your patients.

Left to run itself, without thought and planning, you will at best experience “organised chaos”. You will certainly know who is due in, when and hopefully why – but you and the team are always at the mercy of whatever has been randomly booked in, from routine checks to complex root canal treatments.

Here are some of the scenarios often seen when visiting practices

  • Queues in the waiting room as multiple patients arrive for short appointments – some arrive early, others arrive late – all seem to arrive at the same time
  • Multiple routine dental health checks in multiple surgeries at the same time
  • Patients leave the surgery without making payments or booking their next appointment due to a busy reception – more work to be done later
  • Telephones go unanswered as patient queues and over-running appointments are managed
  • Dental nurses making multiple journeys to the decontamination unit from multiple surgeries
  • Shortage of exam kits due to a backlog of sterilisation – even more to be purchased
  • No time to actively talk to patients as clocks and watches are checked by patients, receptionists and clinicians
  • Clinical earnings and hourly rates are down down despite being very busy
  • The next available appointment for a complex treatment is 5 weeks ahead
  • Receptionists tasked to fill the diary with any appointment at any time.
  • Plenty of white space in the diary but can I find a treatment slot for more than 30 minutes? Add this white space together and we have a surprising amount of downtime.

A realistic solution is to take control of your appointment diary and start by creating regular “Treatment Blocks” for more complex treatments.

  • No recalls/routine appointments to be booked into the Treatment Blocks
  • Zone out different Treatment Blocks for different surgeries sat different times o that when one surgery has low patient volumes another surgery has more recall appointments to smooth out patient volumesEducation concept: Think Different on digital background
  • Create as “Clinics” or equivalent so that your practice software doesn’t offer the Treatment Blocks when searched for recall appointments
  • Number and length of Treatment Blocks will be dependent on the split of work you have between routine recalls/health checks and treatment opportunities
  • Minimum 2 hour blocks to ensure time for either one or two complex treatments
  • Vary the days and use both morning and afternoon blocks to provide more choice to patients – maybe try a rolling 4 week rota of different days/sessions
  • Patients requiring treatment are often more flexible with time than recall patients – treatment blocks can make good use of mid-morning and mid afternoons – leave peak times for recall patients
  • The clinician has shared responsibility to fill treatment blocks by identifying patients  for treatment and advising reception to utilise next available slot
  • Reception can follow-up treatment plans and book patients into available treatment slots
  • Release any unused treatment block time two days prior to the date to allow time for reception to call short-notice patients, book in urgent appointments

A few of the benefits you will soon start to see from implementing Treatment Blocks:

  • Smoother flow of patient volumes across the week and working day
  • Increased take-up of Treatment Plans
    • Patients can be booked in quickly whilst discussions are still fresh in the mind
    • Improved service for patients
    • Patients feel more valued and appreciated
    • Reduced chance of appointments being cancelled if available within a few days
  • Reduced pressure on reception with less peaks and troughs of demand
  • Reduced pressure on clinicians and dental nurses from a healthy mixture of checks and treatments
  • Reduced pressure on decontamination facilities and availability of exam kits
  • Improved patient journey
  • Improved telephone-handling capacity across the working day and week
  • More consistent cash-flow, hourly rate and clinical earnings from a steady mix of checks and treatments
  • Incentive for clinicians to book patients in for treatment sooner rather than later
  • Calmer practice environment

There is plenty of help  and support out there to help you make a difference to your business, including Your Dental Manager, so please do get in touch to find out more:  info@yourdentalmanager.co.uk or check our on-line calendar to book a complimentary chat.

 

 

Make a Difference With Your Practice Appointment Diary

CQC Hotspots – December 2016

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Reviewing a further sample of 52 CQC dental inspection reports published in December, highlighted a number of compliance breaches which can easily be avoided.

Of the 52 practices sampled, 5 practices were issued with breach notifications. Clearly the vast majority of practices are still getting things right, which is great news.

In the spirit of continuous improvement and to try and help 100% of practices achieve a clean pass, here are some of the key-findings from these very recent inspections, which might just keep another practice out of trouble.

  • Always have evidence of checking and taking action on MHRA/CAS safety alerts
  • Have a system in place re RIDDOR reporting requirements for significant incidents
  • Policies and procedures should also be personalised and made relevant to your practice – don’t just leave them as generic operating procedures
  • Check your training records are complete and up to date, particularly individual training records for Infection Control, Information Governance, Complaints and Health & Safety
  • Details of local, external contacts for adult/child safeguarding concerns are up to date and readily available
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  • Medical Emergency procedures should be tested and rehearsed
  • At least two CPR trained members of staff should be on-site whenever patients are in practice
  • Don’t forget to record and keep Hep B records up to date for all clinical staff
  • Please allow trainee nurse assessors access to surgery, with patient agreement, to enable them to supervise your trainee staff
  • Audits are regularly seen without essential evidence of learning and action points.
  • Remember that carpets should never be seen in any clinical/patient areas
  • When testing your basin water temperatures, don’t ignore when minimum temperatures are not being reached
  • Unclear or incomplete patient records continue to feature including the need to show evidence of health advice/best practice and compliance with NICE/FGDP/DH guidelines
  • Evidence compliance with a preventative approach to dental care in line with DH publication “Delivering Better Oral Health” in patient records
  • When radiography equipment is relocated or newly installed, local rules must be updated and the equipment tested by your RPA
  • Mental Capacity Act 2005 and Gillick competency requirements are almost always tested – make sure procedures are in place and well understood by the team
  • Check you have a detailed practice information leaflet, which is up to date and in line with NHS England/CQC requirements
  • Opening hours of the practice should always be on display to patients
  • CCTV is becoming more common – remember that there must be a policy in place, information notices provided for patients and use of CCTV must be registered with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO)

As always, remember that if something is not recorded or evidenced, in the eyes of the CQC and other external bodies such as the NHS, it didn’t happen, even though you may know full well that it did! This continues to catch practices out, leading to frustration and avoidable stress for all!

Findings from previous inspection reviews can be found here:  CQC Hotspots

There is plenty of help out there to plug any management gaps including Your Dental Manager, so please do get in touch if you have any concerns or want to further improve the overall management/efficiency of your practice: info@yourdentalmanager.co.uk or check our on-line calendar to book a complimentary chat.

CQC Hotspots – December 2016