Herbrandston Dental Health Practice

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Herbrandston Dental Health Practice's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Herbrandston Dental Health Practice is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles


Dr Mark Boulcott with
implant patient
Giving back to the
Private dentistry, like that offered by Herbrandston and
Narbeth Dental Health Practices, is on the increase. Patient
expectations are increasing with regard to customer service
and care. In short, patients are demanding an experience worth
paying for. Dr Mark Boulcott and the teams at both the Milford
Haven (Herbrandston) and Narberth Dental Practices are expanding
because of their ability to meet these expectations. The following
article, written by Dr Mark Boulcott, elaborates on this.
Patient concerns
Dental practices can be intimidating for a number of reasons. Concerns often
centre on:
Trust. “Can I trust them to do the work? Are they experienced enough? Do other
people like and trust them too?”
Painlessness. “Will they hurt me?”
Access. “Are they easy to find? Can I park, and are they are open at suitable times?”
Availability. “Can they see me quickly?”
Fees. “Do their fees seem about right?”
Choice. ”Do they provide a wide choice of solutions, options and treatments?”
Nice people. “Are they the sort of people I want to take care of me?”
Standing out
The above might seem obvious, but do we actively allay these concerns? The simple
fact of being near a patient’s home no longer makes us the obvious clinic of their
»Principal dental surgeon: Dr
Mark Boulcott
»Established in 2004 and 2014,
»Based in west Wales
»Services: Private dental care
facilities offering special
treatments for patients
suffering anxieties or phobias
– including sedation clinics
»Treatment packages include the
provision of Invisalign, and clear
orthodontic treatments, dental
implants (including grafting
techniques and advanced
prosthodontics as appropriate)
and cosmetic dentistry
»6 full-time dentists with a
broad range of expertise mean
in-house multidisciplinary
treatment planning is a reality
for our patients
Herbrandston and Narberth
Dental Health Practices
Highlighting best practice
choice. Patients – young and old – look
to the internet: webpages of valuable
content, social media likes and, above
all, great reviews.
They’re looking for a practice to stand
out in the marketplace, to appreciate
their core values and to resonate with
their aspirations in what they expect
from a dentist. Often, these desires
remain unmet and patients move
between clinics; patient loyalty being
something continually needing to be
earned, never assumed.
Neither our Herbrandston practice (west
of Milford Haven, within our Coastal
National Park) nor our Narberth practice
are easy to get to. They are particularly
far west – indeed, further west than
one might want to travel in the UK, and
are within the county of Pembrokeshire.
Both practices nevertheless have
regular patients from all over south
Wales, west England and beyond.
Why do patients choose us, having
travelled past many other dental facilities
on the way? Medical tourism for us is
a reality: many arrive from throughout
the UK, despite our competitor practices
searching for more patients.
Although we excel at dentistry, it is
in customer service that we primarily
excel. Everything we do is centred on
attracting new patients and in keeping
existing ones happy.
Best practice
To do this requires imagination,
empathy, friendliness and charm.
The dental profession often lacks
these attributes, which is why we are
so highly rated by our patients via
ongoing testimonials, online reviews
and – most of all – friend and family
recommendations. Fundamentally, we
are successful because our patients
believe we are great.
We work hard to produce positive
outcomes in regard to patient
expectations, acknowledging that
these vary between patients. This
includes acknowledging that,
although we cannot be great at
everything, we nonetheless ensure
that the best dentist carries out specific
treatments. Patients are therefore
referred internally as appropriate. We
understand patients are generally
happy to see other dentists within the
practice, knowing they will be receiving
the best, most convenient treatment.
We recognise that clinical expertise
is valued differently by patients than
by the profession: we deliver on
the promise of pain-free dentistry,
we coordinate a range of all-
encompassing treatments and address
the actual “wants” of the patient
while simultaneously addressing their
We do not fear peer criticism. Practice
dentists confidently talk about
treatment planning with each other,
with experienced dentists mentoring.
Patients respect second opinions, and
see it as appropriate if their case is
complex. We also make sure we talk in
language designed to facilitate patient
It’s also important to us that we
invest in technology such as CBCT 3D
imagery, intra-oral scanners, intra-oral
cameras, digital radiography and the
like to improve patient experience
and diagnosis. Moreover,we offer
Ethical selling of
Patient loyalty:
earned, never
treatments under sedation, advance
the science of animal-assisted
behavioural modification and always
present a friendly, unhurried and
caring atmosphere that is enhanced by
all our quality staff.
We focus our attention on attracting
those patients who see no or little value
in attending the dentist unless they are
in pain. A recent local survey conducted
by us in Narberth showed that, of those
who would come to our practice, the
two largest factors putting them off
were cost (43 per cent) and fear (48
per cent). Patient anxiety, it seems, is
the greatest obstacle to access.
Alleviating fears
We successfully counter these fears
through various strategies:
1. Clinical surroundings. Glass,
ceramic, metals, hard edges and
sanitary surfaces are the mainstay of
dental architecture and they incite
fear in most patients. A softer feel,
a homelier environment, is far more
appreciated. To this end, we offer the
option, among others, of a sausage
dog on your lap while recovering from
surgery post-sedation. This is an option
at Narberth that’s greatly appreciated
by many, including the dogs. To allay
fears, the Health Inspectorate approved
this measure after reviewing our cross-
infection control protocols. The same
applies to feeding the horses or pigs at
Herbrandston, and local schools end
their investigatory visit to the dentist
by petting the emus. Our animals
build trust and eliminate frightening
2. Interactive surgeries. Helping
patients visualise their problems and
better understand what can be done
to rectify them – including how it’s
done – can greatly instil confidence in
the procedure and the dentist. Having
chatty, humorous and interesting
dialogue relaxes and encourages
acceptance and trust. All are helped
by means of intra-oral cameras and
multimedia presentations. These are
features of all six surgeries within
the two practices, and are seen as
important aids to ethical selling.
3. Behavioural techniques. “Animal-
assisted therapy”, a unique form of
behavioural and cognitive therapy
devised and utilised by me – the
practice principal – for over 12 years,
has seen some spectacular success
stories. I use animals (ferrets, pigs,
horses) to break the cycle of mistrust
often created by historical care. By
taking anxious or mistrustful patients
(child or adult) out of the surgery to
see the animals, with suitable dialogue,
bonds of trust can be created. At the
very least, we are not seen as the same
as the previous care-provider. It is
communication at a level understood
by the patient and also fun.
4. Being of the community. The
practice, sponsored by Megagen
Implant Systems and utilising land at
Bunkers Hill Farm in Camrose, will be
running the unique “Implant a Tree”
scheme. As part of an environmental
project, practice patients receiving
dental implant treatments will be able
to have a tree planted on their behalf.
tourism for us
is a reality
behavioural therapy


This article was sponsored by Herbrandston Dental Health Practice. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister