Smile Together managing director Paul Critchley

Paul Critchley

Managing Director of Smile Together

I have strategic leadership for our organisation and oversee the running of every aspect of the business, ensuring we deliver exceptional patient care across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. It’s my responsibility to keep us on track with our exciting and ambitious plans, and I’m involved in everything from planning and decision-making to signing off and taking responsibility for key business developments. There are a number of underlying statutory (legal) roles which fall to me – for instance I am the information governance “Senior Information Responsible Officer” meaning that, legally, I am responsible for the safekeeping of all data and information that Smile Together holds and processes.

Building and leading a team of professional, committed and dedicated people who are also fun to work with is a real privilege. I also get to be involved at the beginning of some great ideas (strategy) through to their delivery (operations) – our Harleigh Road Dental Centre development is a great example of this. Our work genuinely embodies our vision of creating happier, healthier communities and together we deliver dentistry with social impact.

Initially the biggest challenge in this role was leading our evolution from the NHS to an employee-owned community interest company, which we successfully achieved in 2016. Now it’s ensuring that our patients remain at the very heart of our decision making and direction, not always easy and obvious with the rules and regulations surrounding NHS service delivery. And of course this is further compounded by clinical recruitment challenges across the dental sector nationally.

Before joining Smile Together, I worked at Peninsula Community Health supporting their other major services such as district nursing and community physiotherapy. Prior to that I worked at Cornwall Council as a programme manager helping Adult Social Care services adapt to their service delivery challenges by integrating with community health care services. I was inspired into this choice of career because I wanted to continue helping community patients and make a genuine difference to the level of care that could be delivered.

The opportunity to improve care and address long standing inequalities in the way that dental care is (or has been) delivered across Cornwall and the isles of Scilly means that Smile Together is an inspiring environment in which to work. From improving clinical locations and access to dental care, to launching new projects and programmes that address prevention and treatment, Smile Together continues to have a major positive impact on the community it serves.

Outside of work I like sports and have four children, so we are always busy. When I get time I like to surf – I enjoy the outdoors and have always loved to travel.

The fun bit

Cats or dogs? Dogs, although we only have cats at home (guess who lost the argument!)

Surfing or sunbathing? Surfing, obvs

Manual or electric toothbrush? Electric

Cornish cider or gin? Cider (Cornish Orchards if you’re buying, thanks 🍺 !)

Mini or VW Campervan? VW. Love my van, always full of surfboards and sand

Peace and quiet or loud and lively? A healthy mixture. Loud and lively at night and peace and quiet the next morning!

Flossing or interdental brushing? Interdental (TePe’s for me!)

Full on roast or salad? Salad, but with naughty bits like steak or chicken and avocado

Football or rugby? Rugby. I help coach a local U16 junior team

Rock or classical? Rock (although the kids barely allow me to play any!)

Under cover or outside in the elements? Outside