Cornwall-based dental social enterprise Smile Together will be crossing its fingers next week in the hope of picking up a major industry award. The employee-owned company is on the shortlist for ‘Dental Practice of the Year – South’ at the prestigious Dental Awards 2018.
Smile Together operates out of 14 centres and employs over 100 people across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, through its Westcountry Dental Care, Brighter Dental and Dental Prosthetic Solutions teams.
Award judges noted Smile Together’s impressive performance across a range of criteria which include patient care; effective training and mentoring; community interaction; encouraging team contribution to practice development; patient and client feedback; clinical excellence and response to compliance.
Amongst the positive feedback, judges recognised the company’s 97% patient satisfaction on The NHS Friends & Family Test whilst treating over 40,000 patients; running over 2,300 hours of emergency treatment sessions; and treating nearly 5,000 special needs patients – just over twice the number they are contracted to see by NHS England.
Judges also paid tribute to the huge community contribution made by staff which saw them launch their Brighter Smiles campaign and provide oral health education and treatment for over 1200 nursery and primary school children across the county. The company also hired a mobile dental unit which saw 27 volunteer dental professionals from Smile Together give over 300 hours of their time to provide oral health treatments and oral cancer screenings for the elderly, disabled, homeless, refugees and fishermen.
Paul Critchley, managing director at Smile Together, commented: “As a Community Interest Company, everybody here is extremely passionate about the work that they do and the difference they make within their local community. We are very proud to be acknowledged by The Dental Awards which recognise the very best in UK dentistry”.
Smile Together will be hoping for a repeat of their success last year at the Dental Awards which saw employee Heidi Wyatt named as ‘Dental Nurse of the Year’. The winners will be announced on Friday 18 May at the Hilton Metropole N.E.C. in Birmingham.