A Dental Practice Refit: The Gallery Dental Care of Excellence

When The Gallery Dental Care of Excellence embarked on a refurbishment, it was immediately approached as a collaborative process. The team canvassed feedback from existing patients, and were invited to share ideas themselves, and found that patterns quickly emerged of what priorities for change should be.

While many patients were quick to praise the feel of the practice, including that it was homely, welcoming and not too clinical, it was also acknowledged that the practice felt dark – especially upstairs where there was no natural light – that it could be more comfortable and the team were keen to take the opportunity to modernise and create a fresh look.

The Process
Work to formulate a plan began and the Practice Manager worked closely with Portman Dentex’s property team to formulate the design scheme and proposed scope of work.

MCL Contractors were appointed to the project and created visuals for the final designs, which comprised work to the waiting area, corridor, stairs, surgery rooms and the entrance, and involved painting, new flooring, new lighting and the addition of panelling.

From start to finish, the work took two months, during which the practice stayed open; the Gallery has two floors, and one was sealed off while work was being done. A programme of work was created by MCL, so the team could plan how best to navigate the refurbishment period, while the more disruptive work, such as the stairs, was conducted on weekends. 

Head Receptionist Helen McGrath notes that the process was smooth, thanks in part to clear communication with patients, who were warned of the work in advance via email and were accommodating of slightly longer wait times for treatment.

The results
The completed work has been a resounding success, with patient feedback ranging from that the surgery feels brighter, to praise for the elegant colour scheme and compliments for the feature panelling and new branding within the reception area.

The time spent working out the small things that affected patient experience has really reaped benefits; Helen explains that many older patients found the waiting area seating to be tricky to get up and down from, as the sofas were low and without arms. This was addressed and the new seating has arms, for ease of use, which has resulted in many positive comments from returning patients.

As for the team, Helen says that the biggest change is how much brighter and lighter the practice is throughout: “Getting the lighting right has had an impact on the entire look and feel of the practice,” she explains.

The positive feedback has been a brilliant morale boost for all; Helen adds that the environment feels like a workplace that “everyone is proud to be part of”.

Are you considering undergoing work to your practice?
Helen shared the advice she’d pass on to anyone else hoping to conduct improvements to their practice while staying open:

  • Storage: Consider where to keep furniture or materials that might need to be stored until they’re ready to be used.
  • Closures: If possible, plan to close for a day or two once the work is complete to allow the team to do all the finishing touches – such as sorting computers, final cleaning and adding new decor.
  • Communication: Make communication to patients clear: we sent an email to ensure patients were aware of potential disruption in advance.

If you have any questions regarding your practice property or general practice queries, you can reach our team via [email protected], or call us on 03333 055 631.

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