Dentist sitting in clinic

Coventry to Cornwall – a move worth making

Florence Phillips

Dentist Florence Phillips and her family made the bold move from Coventry to Cornwall in 2019. Working in Penzance as an Associate Dentist with Brighter Dental and on an employed basis in the West Country Dental Care team, she provides NHS and unscheduled dental care which fits perfectly with her personal ethos of delivering excellent patient care in a community setting.

Florence trained as a dentist in Nigeria, qualifying in 1997. Upon moving to London she completed her qualifying examinations and continued to practise in the city until taking on an attachment post in Manchester until 2005. She then moved to Coventry delivering NHS dentistry until a dentist colleague recommended Cornwall for a complete lifestyle change in a coastal environment where there is a real need for dental provision.

Florence says: “I am really enjoying working at Smile Together and I very quickly felt part of the team. The surgeries are well kitted-out with good quality equipment and materials, and I’m regularly asked if I have everything I need – so important when many of our patients don’t access regular dental care and find themselves in pain. We really are delivering a much-valued service in an area of acute need where sadly, as a dentist, you have to be confident with extractions.  

There is a real opportunity to develop your dental career in this flexible, employee-owned organisation where you are genuinely listened to and which has the most amazing Training Academy to keep us ahead of our CPD requirements. It’s no problem working in both West Country Dental Care and Brighter Dental, and every day I have a real sense of achievement.  I’m earning well yet achieving that elusive work-life balance – the Brighter Dental UDA rate is excellent and in Cornwall my income seems to go so much further!”

So what’s it been like moving to Cornwall? According to Florence: “I do think you need to be mentally well-prepared for such a move but Cornwall has far exceeded our expectations. There is so much to do here and you can generally find what you want or indeed an alternative to what you’ve been used to – for example, I now source some speciality foods on-line rather than from the local shop, and my children have swapped ice-skating for surfing!  There are beautiful beaches on our doorstep and many more that we’re yet to find. I moved here with two teenage children so schooling was key – I found to my delight that Penzance has two secondary schools, one rated outstanding, and if we’d wanted private education we could have easily accessed this from home. Whether it’s been through school or church, artists or musicians, or fishermen and their families at the harbourside, Penzance has a wonderful community and we’ve been made to feel so welcome. I can also see my children becoming more confident and independent living in this environment”.