Holford Partners Curaden Dental Clinic

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

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 Holford Partners Curaden Dental Clinic is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.


Partners Dr Louis Guenin (left)
and Dr Andy Hawkesford (right)
Our practice in Mayfair
Dr Andy Hawkesford became a partner at Holford Partners,
the longest-running private dental practice in the UK, 16
years ago. The practice was established by the Holford
family in the 1860s and was run by three generations of the
family up until the 1980s. Dr Louis Guenin joined the practice in
1971, working with the Holfords before he became a partner in
1978, and ensured that their high standards remained as they
entered the 21st century. Andy explains to the Review how their
attention to detail underpins everything they do.
We’re most popular for general dentistry and known for our impeccable standards,
thorough work and excellent service. All our dentists give patients their mobile
numbers; even though we find that patients don’t call that often, it provides great
reassurance. Nobody wants to have to call their dentist because of an emergency –
but our patients know they can, and it really puts them at ease.
We’re a large dental practice, based on New Bond Street in Mayfair. With eight
surgeries and three hygienists, we can offer a variety of disciplines to patients.
Alongside general dentistry, we also provide implants, cosmetic work, orthodontics
and can even find the right person for botulinum toxin and fillers; that may be
surprising, but the trend these days is often to use a dentist for that, rather than
Maintaining patient confidence
We find that if we look after our patients, they look after us. It’s as simple as that.
Much like any other business, running a successful dental practice is all about
»Partners: Dr Andy Hawkesford
and Dr Louis Guenin
»Established in the 1860s
»Based in Mayfair, London
»Services: General dentistry,
implants, orthodontics and
cosmetic dentistry
»No. of employees: 10
Holford Partners
Curaden Dental Clinic
Highlighting best practice
ensuring your customers remain loyal,
as many of ours do. They recognise our
long-standing reputation, stability and
professionalism – we stay up to date
with new technology and use the latest
and best materials. Travelling to dental
conferences all over the world enables
us to discover the best techniques and
treatments available for our patients.
We believe that first impressions are
incredibly important. As such, our
practice is modern, clinical, light and
airy, with daylight in every treatment
room and air conditioning. Our
service is naturally the most important
factor – we strive to be empathetic,
understanding and consistent in every
single aspect of our work.
I’m sure that no small part of our
success has been as a result of the
longevity and historical stability of
the practice – it’s been around for
over 150 years, but we still pride
ourselves on keeping standards high
and relationships positive. Dentistry
can polarise some people – many
either love or hate dentists, with no
real middle ground. The bottom line
remains: if you can maintain patient
confidence, you’ll be successful. If you
don’t let people down and provide a
high standard of service, they’ll keep
coming back.
CQC and dentistry
In 2011, the CQC remit was extended
to include dentistry. That provided us
with a lot of issues almost immediately;
a lot of their work seemed over the
top. They put policies in place for every
minor issue that was previously not
monitored, for instance, making sure
that every tiny corner of the room
could be swept with a mop.
At the time of our inspection, it
all seemed a bit excessive, but,
retrospectively, I do have to commend
their actions. It’s driven standards up in
dentistry across the board, especially in
the private sector; the NHS already had
their own comprehensive framework
and guidance for these kinds of issues.
With a governing body of control, we
have to meet guidelines and standards
every day – and though I imagine that
we were already exceeding them,
every private practice now works at the
same level to keep things standardised
and consistent.
Defensive practice
There’s a lot of litigation in dentistry
– that’s something we can’t deny.
With indemnity costs increasing,
we’re seeing more and more younger
dentists practise in a very defensive
way. They’re doing less and are
worried about getting into trouble,
which is understandable, but I’m
concerned that this will create a real
lack of experienced dentists a decade
or two down the line.
Many young dentists are not doing a
lot of the procedures that my peers
and I would have done at that stage
in our careers – and it’s easy to see.
Even now, I do a lot of NHS extractions
at a practice in south London. I would
expect many of my peers to do the
same without even thinking about it,
but more and more are shying away
from doing anything complicated
for fear of the potential legal and
Holford Partners is the
longest-running private
dental practice in the UK
We find that if
we look after
our patients,
they look after
us. It’s as
simple as that
financial backlash. Without younger,
experienced dentists coming through,
a skills gap will naturally form – and
we’ll have an industry-wide issue to
contend with.
Dentistry as a barometer and
educational issues
The success of private medicine and
dentistry tends to be a good gauge
for the British economy in general.
If business is starting to decline,
companies pull their private health
insurance, and patients tend to arrive
for consultation, but no treatment. We
noticed this in 2008, before the crash,
but two years on, we started to see
people return to the practice.
After the referendum decision was
announced, things quietened down
slightly for a month, then, when
people became more positive,
they started to come back. We do,
however, have to consider that we
are a well-respected central London
practice with some affluent patients, so
we could be somewhat cocooned from
reality in that regard. My gut instinct,
nonetheless, is that Brexit should not
overly affect our industry.
I’m more concerned about education.
I’ve seen a number of patients losing
teeth, and it’s a socioeconomic
concern that seems to be affecting
everybody, rich and poor. It could
simply be that they’re not as well
informed these days. I believe that
investing in addressing the root cause,
rather than treating the symptoms,
would go a long way towards resolving
this issue, but patient education is
nonetheless a real concern.
Remain stable, positive and
My desire is for further stability going
into the future. We want to stay
abreast of all changes with legislation
and technology, of course, but it’s
our commitment to excellence and
personal care that leads to patient
loyalty and that really grounds what
we do.
My longest-standing patient started
coming to Holford Partners when he
was seven. Unfortunately, he recently
passed away at 96 years of age. It’s
not just our reputation and service,
but our empathy and compassion that
inspires such loyalty in our patients.
There’s always a smile and a warm
welcome to everyone entering our
dental clinic. A lot of society misses
out on the personal touch these days
– and I believe that’s what really sets
It’s our
to excellence
and personal
care that leads
to patient
Our space is modern,
clinical, light and airy


This article was sponsored by Holford Partners Curaden Dental Clinic. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.