I had the pleasure of visiting our Gold Associates at the North Devon Orthodontic Centre last week. Greeted by a very welcoming team of reception staff I was soon introduced to the Practice Coordinator, Sarah Oades.
Whilst being shown around the building I was struck with how organised, clean and professional the practice felt and a sense of pride from Sarah who evidentially has a very high level of dedication to the practice and the work that is being done there.
The cleaning room in particular was a remarkable space. At first glance it looked like a room filled with mini dish washers and microwaves, but after a detailed explanation I soon realised this was actually an incredibly important part of everyday practice at NDOC. Learning how each and every piece of equipment has to be cleaned, sterilised and checked every day made me realise how much work and detail is involved.
It was no surprise to hear that the practice has recently undergone a lot of refurbishment as I could still smell the fresh paint and much of the downstairs space looked new and up to date. Sarah explained to me the plans for the reception area which will be redone soon.
Overall as an organisation it was very clear that NDOC (as well as looking after the oral hygiene of many people) is an excellent example of a workplace that cares about both its patients, its staff and its local community. Asking Sarah why NDOC had decided to become an associate for North Devon Theatres’ Trust she replied, “I believe that the Theatre is very important to the community and many members of staff here are customers of the Theatre. There is something for everyone. I believe that getting people away from their computers to experience something is a positive thing. We could sponsor more visible charities, but for us this is much more interactive and we like to keep things local. It feels more personal and the sponsor package that NDTT has given us offers a variety of advertising which is more free flow and suits us as a practice. We have a large catchment area, patients as far as Minehead and Bude, we hope that by sponsoring North Devon Theatres we are sharing our customers and in return highlighting what a great resources the Queen’s Theatre and Landmark Theatre are’.
Sarah also talked about her first experience of visiting the Queen’s Theatre watching a crowd of African Drummers at the age of 4. ‘Personally I am very passionate about the Theatre.
The main message that the Practice would like to get across is helping people to realise that they are predominantly an NHS practice. “If we don’t get enough referrals we will get our contract cut. There are still a lot of people who don’t have a dentist but some people don’t realise that you don’t have to have a referral to come to us. Up until the age of 18, for those that meet the published NHS criteria, treatment is absolutely free and children CAN self refer instead of going via their usual dentist. A lot of our patients are between the ages of 13 and 16 years of age so this is a great service for them.”
As well as being a supporter of NDTT, North Devon Orthodontic Centre also support other charities and get involved within the community. At the moment NDOC are working with a charity called ‘Smalls For All’ http://www.smallsforall.org/. A charity in Africa which helps women and children meet their most basic hygiene and security needs.
All in all I think NDOC deserve a massive pat on the back for the work that they are doing within the practice and for all of the extras that they do on top. We at North Devon Theatres are without doubt extremely proud to have them as Gold associates!
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