Sonia Rishi explores the world of Future Health Partnership to discover why it offers such a strong alternative to corporate dentistry for practice owners looking for a little extra support.
As someone who has always had a socially aware ethos and a strong interest in the community, when Future Health Partnership (FHP) creator Simon Gallier told me all about his business model I couldn’t help but be interested. I have a real belief that if you support local businesses you are supporting the resident community both societally and economically, which, in my mind, dovetails really well with healthcare provision.
At Simon’s invitation, when the time was right I visited one of the FHP practices and saw how it could work in reality. I saw that it offers a viable alternative to the corporates, providing community-based healthcare.
In a nutshell, FHP is incorporated as a community interest company (CIC) and serves as a not-for-profit healthcare organisation. FHP is similar to a ‘John Lewis’ style of business, offering a viable, ethical future for healthcare. Each practice becomes part of the group, and will be held for the benefit of all staff – not just the practice owner.
A passion for dental care
I have a real passion for dentistry and providing the best possible care for patients. There aren’t many options out there for dentists looking for an alternative business model beyond the corporates, and what FHP wants to do is to enable practice owners to maintain community-based practices in areas that really need them, as well as benefit from economies of scale. So while FHP is committed to each practice retaining their particular local identity, there is the added advantage of joining together when buying from suppliers.
However, we’re not just talking affordable dentistry. It’s an important element, and I think the corporates will make dentistry affordable. However, FHP is also about dentists who care and who want to spend more time with their patients to build rapport and trust, understand what patients need and want, and be able to provide the care they were trained for and want to do.
One element that is certainly attractive for many dentists is that the administrative burden is reduced by the FHP partnership. We want to standardise the regulatory aspect of dental practice, so that our template can be used across the group but be tailored to each business. Every FHP practice has access to our central folders. We provide the tools, training and skills, and personnel are available at FHP to help complete the paperwork, but the practice’s team remains very much involved.
Our dental partners also very much like the ethos that FHP will care for patients, and be sympathetic to the culture of the practice, which means the provision of clinical treatment isn’t affected.
At FHP we recognise that change is difficult, but the truth is once the dental team sees the benefits change suddenly doesn’t seem so hard! Processes are being put in place all the time to make the transition and on-going partnership as easy and beneficial as possible. In addition, we are going to work with external leaders in dentistry to make sure we get the best of everything for our practices, from regulatory compliance to team motivation and career progression.
FHP’s proposition allows dentists to continue with their dentistry and really care for their patients and their team. If this seems like an attractive proposition for your practice, please visit www.futurehealthpartnership.co.uk or call 08000 789 402.