Community Dental Services wins EOA Award

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Community Dental Services awarded EOA Employee Owned Business of the Year

Community Dental Services has been named as winner of Employee Owned Business of the Year Award category in the UK Employee Ownership Awards, the UK’s annual celebration of employee-owned businesses run by the Employee Ownership Association(EOA) and sponsored by Baxendale.

Community Dental Services (CDS), spun out of the NHS six years ago when more than 70% of its employees voted to become the first wholly employee-owned dental social enterprise in the UK and provides dental services via 36 clinics across eight different counties throughout Bedfordshire, Luton, Suffolk, Thetford, Oxfordshire, Leicestershire, Essex and Lincolnshire.

Judges were struck by Community Dental Services’ commitment to training and the practical examples they put forward to show autonomous decision making and the impact that made on the business and its success. For example, moving clinic times to suit a certain community and a reward scheme to spot and fill appointment gaps has seen a 30% reduction in missed appointments and gaps in the past year.

Ali Reed from Community Dental Services said: “Being employee-owned is really important for our practitioners as they have the freedom to make decisions in their locality that deliver the best services for the communities they serve. We are incredibly proud of the amazing care our employees deliver and this recognition of that passion and drive is going to mean a lot for them.”

Growth and performance in the past year has including a 39% increase in profit surplus, turnover increase from £7.5million to £12.8 million, growth in employees from 153 to 221 and investment in two additional mobile dental surgeries.

During that time, CDS has served a community of 5.9million, seen 51,000 patients at 85,000 appointments, including 2000 patients via its mobile dental units, given 33,700 people oral health advice, 7000 children tooth brushing support and trained over 1000 professionals in oral health promotion.

This, teamed with 88% of staff saying they would recommend CDS as a place to work, 94% saying CDS believe we embraces equality and diversity and 82% feeling able to contribute as an employee-owned business plus 97% of patients rating their services as good to excellent, tops off a really successful year for the business.

Deb Oxley, CEO of the EOA, said: “Congratulations to Community Dental Services on their excellent achievements. The awards recognise the productivity, innovation and excellence driven by teams and individuals in employee-owned businesses, which demonstrate how employees having a stake in the business teamed with a robust culture of transparency and employee engagement result in outstanding performance in growth and resilience.”

Baxendale Managing Director, Campbell McDonald, said: “Now more than ever our economy needs businesses that are outstanding in every way. Employee owned businesses innovate and out-perform the competition by putting people at the heart of their approach.

“Employee ownership can transform not just the bottom line, but also workforce culture, corporate behaviour and community impact. As public trust in boardroom ethics drops ever lower, the country is crying out for more businesses that create a wider positive impact in our economy and society.”

The awards celebrate the significant contribution employee-owned businesses make to the UK economy and the Employee Owned Business of the Year award celebrates brilliant performance in the sector where the business can show a direct correlation between their employee ownership status, culture and their business performance. The awards were held at the EOA Gala Dinner on the 27 November at the Hilton Metropole Hotel Birmingham.

Image caption: From left to right, Paul Lyons, Information Management and Technology Manager, Chief Executive Officer Alison Reed and Tracy Balachandran Finance and Commercial Director