Joining Portman: what do you need to know?

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Why join Portman?

-- Portman Dental Care --

Portman is different. At Portman, we treat every patient as we would like to be treated ourselves: this philosophy is at the heart of everything we do. Our continued investment in the best technology, the best practices and the best clinicians is all part of our passion to deliver the very best experience at every one of our practices.

We’re the natural home of private dentistry. When you join Portman, you get complete clinical freedom with labs and materials. Practices have a clinical support network: clinicians work with good nurses with good qualifications in a professional environment that we help to develop. The Portman approach is about supporting the dentist, and we do that by ensuring our practices are well staffed and well trained.

We don’t use cheaper materials that drive up margins but slow down dentists. We don’t source cheaper labs that dentists can’t work with efficiently. We understand what it takes to run a great practice, rather than simply how to be a business.

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What kind of practices do Portman want to work with?

At Portman, it’s all about culture. By working with people who share our values, we can make a practice work. We want to work with practices that put the needs of their patients front and centre. People are attracted to places they can build a relationship with. If that is already in place, Portman can help the practice stay at the forefront.

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What makes the perfect Portman practice?

Portman dental care is growing fast because we add value to the practices that join us, so we look for practices we think we can optimise. We think about what treatments are on offer at each practice, when they’re on offer, and patient access. A lot of value comes from operational efficiency and getting the basics right: how practices communicate with patients, and how you attract patients in the first place. This is where Portman can really help drive the growth of your practice.

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How will Portman benefit you?

When you join Portman you join a network of high-calibre dental practices. You are not alone, but benefit from  the support of passionate clinicians and well-trained colleagues. Here are just some of the benefits to joining Portman:

  • We will secure your exit route and percentage goodwill, while you will continue to benefit from the growth of the practice
  • We expect you to continue to have input into the practice, but you’ll have less responsibility and financial risk
  • You will have the support of a professional management team
  • We will reduce the administrative burden of staff and accounting so that you have more time to focus on your patients and your growth
  • You can enjoy the benefits of a ‘hub and spoke’ referral system
  • You will benefit from an increased support network of highly experienced clinicians sharing best practice
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What will improve if you join Portman?

The main benefits that our practices experience is that they don’t have to be involved with practice management, such as payroll, associates’ pay, accounts and staff issues. This enables you to focus more on dental procedures and your patients, which normally results in greater productivity and an increase in income.

We invest in the training of support staff, and ensure each member of staff has a development plan. We fund courses for ancillary staff, and for each recognised qualification they receive an increase in remuneration. There are also annual appraisals and salary reviews, so each member of your team has a recognisable career path and is rewarded on the basis of their performance. This leads to a more motivated and capable workforce.

We also have a significant impact in developing the practice referral base through marketing and CPD events. The result is a significant growth in revenue. From a professional perspective, you will have access to a wider circle of professional colleagues. We encourage clinicians to join specialist forums within the Portman community where you can meet specialists of the same discipline to discuss updates in your field, best protocols and new products.

You can use these forums to benefit your practice, and also to offer us feedback as to what you feel could be improved and what you’re hoping to achieve through joining Portman. We will work with you to ensure we have a mutually beneficial relationship.

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Do we have to be a 100 percent private practice?

No, some Portman practices have NHS contracts, but all our practices must be focused on providing private care.

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Who will make the operational decisions at my practice?

We strongly believe that your practice should be managed by your team, while we offer the support from our central team who advise on employment, health and safety, marketing and management. Our role at Portman is to take on the responsibility of the principal and support the practice manager.

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Who does the accounting?

The financial accounting is handled in our central office, so that your dental team can focus on delivering expert clinical care.

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Who deals with HR issues?

In terms of hiring, our central team will deal with the administration of advertising and filtering of applications. Interviewing and selection can be carried out at practice level with support from our central team.

Disciplinary issues are handled at practice level, while our central team will provide support and advice on how to deal with contentious issues, and ensure decisions are made in line with employment legislation.

Remuneration and bonus schemes are operated from central office in consultation with you.

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Who sets the fee structure?

The fee structure is led by your practice, with consultation from the operations team.

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Who decides what equipment and materials to buy?

You can choose the materials you wish. While pricing is negotiated centrally, all the ordering is carried out at a local level. For large items of equipment, you’ll need to put forward an application to Portman head office. Then the principal, the practice manager and head office will discuss the requirements and approve accordingly.

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Will we be redecorated?

We’ve discovered that the quality of the environment has a significant impact on the quality of care the patient receives. We regularly redecorate our practices – most have some form of renovation every one to two years.

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Can we use the same lab?

You have clinical freedom to choose the laboratories you use.

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What security does our team have?

All employees are protected by a law called TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings), which means that all of their present terms and conditions are protected. We can, of course, improve them.

Associates tend to be self-employed and so don’t fall within this law. We will meet with all of them individually to discuss their needs, and to see if a fixed term contract might be a more secure option for them. Our overall aim is to make sure we maintain stability and consistency within your team.

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How long do I need to commit to continue working?

This is something that would be agreed as part of the Sale and Purchase Agreement. The standard contract is between four and five years.

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What hours do I need to work?

We ask that you work the same hours you normally do, so that the turnover of the practice can be maintained. You will need to clarify the basic hours and holiday entitlement within which you currently work, and these would be then incorporated into your agreements.

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What happens about the property lease/freehold?

The lease of your practice would be reassigned, or a new lease will be signed, which is usually a straightforward process. If your practice is freehold, and the owner wishes to sell, we can introduce a buyer at that point.

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What challenges do you face when a practice joins Portman?

We’re very experienced at managing change, and helping people find their role in the new business is an essential part of it, and probably the biggest challenge. Dealing with the people is always where the real work is, and we know it’s about looking after people as you’d like to be treated yourself. We take the time to understand each member of the team to ensure everyone is happy and secure in their new role at Portman.

Also in this section

The process

We make it simple to join us, and benefit from the advantages of belonging to Portman.

Also in this section

The benefits

A central support team, clinical freedom, a clear financial plan, and increased buying power.

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Awards

Dental Industry Award - Portman Dental Care
Private Dentistry Awards - Portman Dental Care
The Dentistry Awards - Portman Dental Care
BDA Good Practice Award - Portman Dental Care
Elite Practice Award - Portman Dental Care