Situated in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, Old Amersham Dental Clinic is a modern and award-winning practice which provides a range of traditional and cosmetic dental treatments.
Dr Tracey Jarrett graduated from King's College London School of Medicine and Dentistry and has resided in the dental profession for over 20 years. She is the Principal Dentist and Practice Owner at Old Amersham and has gained extensive experience working in NHS, mixed and private practices.
Tracey has maintained a passion for all aspects of general dentistry including smile makeovers, tooth whitening and clear braces orthodontics, which resulted in her being invited to become a member of the Colgate Dental Advisory Panel.
The continued commitment from Tracey and her staff in providing outstanding care to patients has led to the practice being recognised by leading industry bodies. In recent years, Old Amersham Dental Clinic has been a finalist in the 'Best Practice' category of the Dentistry Awards and was also shortlisted for the 'Team of Year, South' accolade at the Dental Awards.The challenge
The future for NHS dentists has become uncertain during the last ten years due to the introduction of new NHS contracts and the rising costs associated with running a practice following regulatory changes.
The government's 2016 Autumn statement also highlighted areas which could negatively impact the finances of dental practitioners in the future, such as increased employment costs and the removal of tax advantages which could put a further strain on the working capital of dental practices.
Even if the goodwill values of dental practices maintain their current levels, the financial position for many dentists with a fixed NHS income is not as comfortable as it once was. This was the dilemma facing Tracey Jarrett when she acquired Old Amersham Dental Clinic in 2005.
"In 2006 the practice's new NHS contract contained changes to the UDA system of remuneration which was unmanageable. The decision to go private was a huge step but I felt that with the right support the practice could flourish," explains Tracey Jarrett.The solution
Tracey researched the market for specialist suppliers who could assist Old Amersham Dental Clinic with all aspects involved with switching from NHS dentistry. She discovered Practice Plan, the UK's leading provider of practice-branded membership plans and support services for dental practices.
"Practice Plan stood out compared to similar organisations I researched and could offer us so much more at the best value. This included assigning a dedicated business consultant to help guide us through the process initially and answer any patient queries on-site which ensured everything progressed smoothly," comments Tracey.
Over 500 of Old Amersham Dental Clinic's patients are on Practice Plan's membership plan which entitles them to two hygienist visits and dental health checks each year along with discounts towards the cost of treatments (crowns, fillings etc).
Children up until the age of ten also receive free dental care if their parents are on plan. Practice Plan's comprehensive support extends to providing branded marketing materials and business consultancy services which have enabled the practice to maximise its income and save money.The results and benefits
Having worked in close partnership with Old Amersham Dental Clinic for over ten years, Practice Plan has effectively become an extension of the team and is always working to support the practice's goals to ensure it continues to be successful.
"By taking the time to truly understand our requirements, Practice Plan ensured our transition from NHS dentistry was really easy. We have been able to incorporate a unique dental plan that ensures we can devote more time to our patients and offer them a wider range of treatments. This has helped us to maintain our loyal patient base and attract new ones which has boosted our cash flow.
"From creating effective staff training programmes and marketing materials, to our Regional Support Manager always being available to offer expert advice, Practice Plan's customer service is absolutely fantastic. This level support is simply not available from the NHS and has been instrumental in ensuring the practice is profitable and sustainable for the long term," says Tracey. Specialist financial support from a trusted source
As part of the Wesleyan Group of companies, Practice Plan can offer an enhanced value-added service to its clients comprising trusted financial support and bespoke funding. After Tracey Jarrett received an unexpectedly large tax bill her Regional Support Manager was able to introduce her to Wesleyan Bank, a dedicated provider of commercial finance solutions for dentists.
Extending from three months to 20 years, Wesleyan Bank's products cover every aspect of a dental practice's life. The company provides tailored loans to spread the cost of tax and short-term expenditures and long-term asset solutions for supporting investment in specialist equipment and IT solutions, practice refurbishment and expansion, as well as funding practice acquisitions and partner buy-in / outs all in one flexible solution.
The self-assessment tax deadline seasons in January and July are particularly stressful periods for professional practices as cash flow can often be tight.
"My tax bills have been increasing year-on-year and it is difficult to manage your personal finances on top of running a full-time practice six days a week. Ongoing changes to regulation further complicate matters and I ended up in a scenario where my tax bill was considerably more than I was anticipating," admitted Tracey.
Wesleyan Bank was able to provide an unsecured loan facility over a term of 12 months to enable Tracey to spread the cost of her tax liability in a convenient and affordable way.
"Wesleyan Bank was quick to respond and I received a hassle-free service. The drawdown was completed in just over a week which enabled me to retain cash in the practice and preserve vital working capital, without affecting my existing banking lines. I was able to speak to one extremely helpful point of contact throughout and I will now deal with Wesleyan Bank for the practice's financial matters in the future," states Tracey.
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