Rectory House Dental Practice

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Rectory House Dental 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 Rectory House Dental 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

Highlighting best practice
Highlighting best practice
Practice Principal
Established in the 1940s
The provision of dental care, says Trevor Ratledge, is rapidly
changing. Across the profession, and at Rectory House
Dental Practice in Guildford, where Trevor is practice
principal, there is constant evolution to meet patient demands
and expectations. Trevor says that the modern dental clinic
must be able to provide a full suite of solutions – everything
from routine dental care to specialist treatments, including
Established in the 1940s, Rectory House Dental Practice is currently a four-surgery
clinic providing private general and specialist dental treatments. “Putting patients
first” is our motto, and we achieve this by providing personalised and preventative
dental care. Supported by two dental hygienists, our dentists provide a full range of
general dental care, backed up by specialist care to provide orthodontics, implants
and gum disease therapy.
In our view, it is paramount to educate and empower patients to look after their
own dental health, supported by our ongoing expert guidance. This means that
virtually all of our patients are seen by our dental hygienists on a regular basis. Our
goal to deliver excellent dental care demands attention to detail in all that we do,
especially in providing sufficient clinical time for our patients. Our economic model
is carefully costed to allow for this. Making private dental care accessible to patients
is extremely important to us. We achieve this through a range of in-house care
plans costed to meet patients’ anticipated clinical needs. For example, plans start
at £12.50 per month for “low risk” patients, who only need to see the hygienist
and dentist once a year. Plan members benefit from discounted treatment costs,
medicines and oral hygiene products.
»Principal: Trevor Ratledge
»Established in the 1940s
»Based in Guildford
»Services: Private dental
»No. of employees: 14
Rectory House Dental
Harnessing technology
Investment and the use of the most
advanced digital technology is a top
priority for the practice. It allows us
to provide better-quality care while
maintaining an economic advantage.
We are fully computerised and have
invested in cutting-edge digital
x-ray scanning equipment. We use
intraoral digital scanners to scan
patients’ teeth for orthodontic and
restorative dental treatments. This
removes the need for time-consuming
impressions, with scans sent directly
to our laboratories for the fabrication
of crowns and appliances. Not only
does this significantly improve patient
experience, but it also enhances the
workflow through the practice.
Addressing workforce
As well as technology, we invest
significantly in our staff. In the past
two years, three of our dental nurses
have undergone orthodontic nursing
certification, with one becoming
a registered orthodontic therapist.
Providing the correct skill mix to
deliver our orthodontic services is
especially important to us. We have
three registered orthodontic specialists
working alongside our therapist.
This enables us to provide excellent
clinical care in this field. Likewise, our
hygienists work in tandem with our
general dentists. It is very much a team-
based approach to the delivery of care.
While welcoming the beneficial changes
that professional registration of the
whole dental team has brought about,
we are also aware of the challenges it
has created. The professional workforce
within dentistry is overwhelmingly
female, many of whom are part-
time workers. The increasing costs of
registration, professional indemnity and
continuing professional development
make the financial burden of part-time
work more onerous. This is particularly
true for young mothers, who may
wish to take a career break for a short
period to look after their children.
Creativity and flexibility need to be
shown in making the financial costs
of maintaining registration and core
knowledge less burdensome when
taking a break from the profession.
Without these considerations, we risk
losing too many of our expensively and
highly trained personnel.
Providing patient-led
Investment in
– and the use
of – the most
technology is
a top priority
for the
Highlighting best practice
Highlighting best practice
Adapting to change
Having provided NHS orthodontic
treatment for 175 patients per year
over the past 20 years, we took part
in an NHS tendering process in 2018.
Sadly, we were unsuccessful in our bid
and are now fully focused on providing
our expertise to our private patients.
As a group of clinicians, we feel that
the loss of our specialist skills and
those of other unsuccessful bidders to
the NHS will be significant.
Registered orthodontic specialists are
a rare commodity that the NHS can
ill afford to lose. The NHS tendering
process was highly complex and
beyond the skills of most practice
owners. Without hiring specialist
advisers to explain the nuances of NHS
protocols, it would be an even greater
lottery. In planning the future delivery
of NHS dental care, there appears to
be little constructive communication
between professional representative
bodies such as the British Dental
Association, the British Orthodontic
Society and the Department of Health.
Even more worryingly, there is a real
lack of meaningful public consultation
about changes being made to NHS
dental services, leaving patients
frustrated and often annoyed. Limited
government funding, relatively short-
term NHS contracts of five to ten
years and the uncertainty that the
tendering process brings to funding
streams mean that practice owners will
gradually move to a privately funded
business model. Patients demand and
expect the very best dental care, with
advanced complex procedures now
only being available on a private basis.
Shaping the future
Looking ahead, we see our practice
as one which provides a full range of
high-quality dental and orthodontic
services under one roof. This will
require a combination of specialist
and general dental skills. A privately
funded business model is required
to achieve our goals, with significant
further investment in technology and
continuing professional development.
We are proud to be part of a highly
valued and respected profession
and look forward to continuing to
make a vital contribution to our
demand and
expect the
very best
dental care
with advanced
now only
being available
on a private
Spending quality clinical

This article was sponsored by Rectory House Dental 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 Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development