Employee ownership for dental practice

An Abergavenny-based dental practice has become an employee-owned business. The Gateway Dental Practice is said to be the first employee-owned NHS dental practice in Wales and has received support from the European- and Welsh Government-funded Social Business Wales project.

11 Apr, 17

The business provides NHS dental care to over 10,000 residents of Aneurin Bevan University Health Board and Powys University Health Board.

Its shares are now owned by a trust on behalf of the employees. All 17 staff members have an equal stake in the business, with the trust overseeing the practice to ensure that it’s run in their best interest.

The change of ownership was set in motion by Michael Allen, the principal founder of Gateway Dental Practice.

Allen said: “When I was looking into succession options for the practice, the employee owned model was the perfect fit because it enabled me to leave the business in the hands of people I had worked with and entrusted over the years and who were passionate about seeing it prosper.”

Hannah Hutchison, dentist and shareholder at Gateway Dental Practice, added: “We have already felt an immediate impact within the practice, with all of us feeling much closer as a team.

“Having a real stake in the business allows us to put our clients and communities first – to go that extra mile for them and be able to shape services to meet their health and well-being needs. The reason we all came into dentistry in the first place.”

Social Business Wales, a project funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Welsh Government and delivered by the Wales Co-operative Centre, provided one-to-one support to Michael Allen and the employees at Gateway Dental Practice in areas such as succession planning, visioning and co-operative structures. Legal advice was provided by Wrigleys Solicitors.

Gateway Dental Practice
Image Caption: Gateway Dental Practice with Paul Cantrill from Social Business Wales