The Scottish Dental Care Group is set to acquire two new practices by October as part of its ambitious growth plans, after securing a £1.75 million funding package from Bank of Scotland.
Despite the recent pandemic forcing the temporary closure of each of its existing 11 practices, Scottish Dental Care Group acquired a new practice in the central belt during lockdown, with a further one in the final stages of completion. Its practices are currently located across Glasgow, Dumfries, Oban, Inverness, Bishopton and Cardonald.
The business sought support from Bank of Scotland to fund the new acquisitions as part of its wider growth plans to purchase a new practice each quarter throughout 2020 and 2021. The Group also has existing funding in place should any further changes be needed to ensure the practices comply with future government guidance in relation to Covid-19.
The planned acquisitions will bring an additional 23 members of staff to the Group, totalling 91 nursing and clerical staff, 44 dentists and hygienists. The new NHS and private practices will also welcome around 20,000 new patients, bringing the total number to almost 100,000 across Scotland.
Philip Friel, SDC Group’s clinical director, said: “We’ve been very specific in terms of our group structure and ambitions for growth. While no one foresaw the current global pandemic, that same robust structure and management regime stands us in good stead to progress with our growth plans across the country. This is only possible with the support of our extended teams who have demonstrated outstanding cohesion throughout. It’s an exciting time for us, and we hope to return to normal practice soon, and continue growing into 2021 and beyond.”
Christopher Friel, director of SDC Group, added: “Last year we focused on consolidating our existing practices and processes, as well as refinancing the group with Bank of Scotland which meant that when Covid-19 hit, we were in a strong position. We use a single supplier for all of the practices, from using the same electricity provider to the same manufacturer of clinical materials, meaning that once we’ve acquired a new site, the logistics of bringing that practice into the group are very straightforward. This process also allows us to focus our efforts on the needs of our new team members and patients.”
Mark Sim, relationship director at Bank of Scotland, also commented: “Parts of the healthcare sector, particularly pharmacies, have been extremely busy throughout the pandemic. However, it has been more damaging for dental practices that have been forced to close their doors to weather this challenging time. SDC Group is a great example of a business that already had strong foundations in place and now, with our support, is ready to continue normal operations quickly as soon as it is permitted. We will continue supporting the firm with its ambitious expansion plans over the next 24 months, and hopefully see SDC Group become one of the sector’s key players over the coming years.”