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Posted by: The Probe 12th March 2019
Timperley Village Dental Practice is a modern and busy family-based practice, providing private and NHS Dentistry to local patients. Timperley is a suburban village in the market town of Altrincham and the practice prides itself on delivering a comprehensive range of services in a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere. Here, practice manager Toni Harper, talks about their recent – and much needed! – renovation project.
Timperley Village Dental Practice has been delivering dental care for over 80 years. Dr Vijay Aggarwal, who is both owner and Principal Dentist, took it over seven years ago; it was very dated and in need of a major refurbishment. All the surgeries were slowly refurbished, the last renovations being the reception and waiting area and installation of a ground floor patient toilet.
Dr Vijay Aggarwal
It was then we planned to expand into a four-surgery practice and move the staffing and admin areas into the loft area, by the way of a loft conversation. This was by far the biggest project to date. We had several obstacles we needed to overcome.
Finance was a concern, not only to pay for the renovations, but also to keep the practice running at full capacity as much as possible. It was very important for us to continue providing high-quality care for patients and to ensure that staff had a suitable and safe environment to work in while also trying to make sure there was no reduction in income.
We had to have a rigid timescale and schedule – how many staff would be in each day and where they would be working and which areas the builders would be working in. We tried to organise the project around staffing levels; we gave the builders notice of when the practice would be less busy so that they could do the major works on these days. We warned patients by sending out a newsletter and tried to ensure minimal disruption to patient areas.
Vijay did have to take some time off to accommodate parts of the project, but he picked up extra days where he could so as not to delay any treatment. We tried to involve the staff as much as possible too; it is also their practice and they are the ones who work here every day. It had to be the right fit for them.
We did have several issues with planning permission; the local council wanted us to provide an impracticable number of parking spaces and wouldn’t agree to dormer windows in the loft; the dormer windows were significant as they were making the project a viable option by maximising the usable floor space. We eventually had to instruct the services of a solicitor to push the planning application through. But it’s great to see how the practice is progressing. We now have four surgeries, and in the process of finalising two waiting rooms, a whole new decontamination room and excellent facilities for the staff.
We had already decided on a grey colour scheme when we designed our practice logo and refurbished the reception area, so we simply carried this theme throughout the rest of the practice. Choosing neutrals has kept the new surgeries and communal areas looking fresh and clean, just like with our other surgeries.
Having worked with RPA Dental for over 10 years in his last practice, Vijay naturally turned to them for advice. Adam Shaw, who is RPA Dental’s Sales Director, project managed all the refurbishments and has helped us to turn TimperleyVillage Dental Practiceinto what it is today. We recently purchased a whole new surgery, including cabinetry from the Tavom Caryn range, the Castellini Puma Eli R dental unit for the new surgery, plus Evo Lab cabinetry for the LDU room and a new compressor. All RPA Dental’s equipment is modern, robust and comes with great back-up support if we ever have issues.
We’re not quite finished yet – there is still the upstairs waiting room, chiropody room and some decorating to be done – but we have turned a basic, run-down two-surgery practice into a modern, warm and inviting four-surgery practice with the help of RPA Dental. Having four surgeries also enables us to take on extra clinicians and see more patients, and also reduce waiting times. The team has bigger and better facilities. The loft now has a larger office, a more up-to-date staff kitchen, a large changing room and a separate toilet and shower room.
If I could give other practices thinking about refurbishing any advice, I would say it is tough, but worth it! Be prepared for unexpected surprises and maybe some delays, with such a large project undertaken and the amount of people involved it is bound to happen.
The project has reinforced that we have a really great team here at TimperleyVillage Dental Practice. They have put up with the dust, chaos and disruption without a single complaint and always spoke positively about the project with our patients. We never closed, we continued delivering quality care and yet we are already noticing a positive impact. We have had to take on extra staff and the new surgery will be in use almost full-time, which is exactly what we hoped for. Patients have definitely noticed and regularly comment how impressed they are. This could only have been done with the help of Adam and his team at RPA Dental.
Hopefully being a four-surgery practice will make our practice more stable in these turbulent times that dentistry is going through. Our patients know that they are getting the high standard of treatment we have always prided ourselves on in a friendly, clean and now more inviting place. The team enjoy their new working environment too. We feel that Timperley Village Dental Practice is only going to keep getting better!
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