In December 2018, Alpha Dental Group was bought out by a group of investors. The majority of the directors at the group joined the board or became involved in other roles within the practice following this. And so, Riverdale Healthcare was created. Karen Haresnape, Manager at the group tell us about the organisation:
“Our focus is dentistry, and we’re expanding by taking on new dental practices. We’ve got about 14-15 practices now, and we’ve got 2 more coming on board very soon. Over the whole group, I’d say we have approximately 120 employees, if not more.
“We’ve got self-employed and full-time dentists, so there’s quite a range of different contracts. Overall, I’d say we’ve got around 40-45 dentists across the board. A lot of them have been with the group for ten years or more.
“Our main office is in Stokesley, North Yorkshire. All of the practices we manage are based in the North. Our southern-most practice is in York, and our northern-most practice is in Gateshead, Newcastle.”
Originally Dental Protection Society members, Riverdale Healthcare had access to some of Croner’s services, but needed further support. Karen explains:
“We originally had access to Croner’s advice line via the Dental Protection Society. We found that we were using it quite frequently, and we were looking to utilise an online management system for our documentation as well as health & safety support. We ultimately made the decision to move over to Croner as we wanted to store everything on a cloud-based system.
“In particular we needed help with staff off on long-term sickness leave. We’ve also sought advice on handling staff who aren’t really pulling their weight, or who aren’t engaged.”
How We’ve Helped
“We’ve had to conduct a number of disciplinaries since signing up with Croner,” states Karen, “I took advice on those, and it was absolutely brilliant. The advisers are exceptional. Kal is probably the person I’ve spoken to the most—she’s lovely and really, really helpful.
“The great thing about the advice line is that you can ring up with the silliest questions and they’ll be answered professionally and effectively. It makes you feel comfortable to ring up again with any other issues. In some instances, you might know the process really well, but you’re unsure whether the process has recently changed. The advice line gives you the opportunity to check this before going ahead. It’s always worth checking, for peace of mind.
“When it comes to health & safety, I’m no expert. You think it’s common sense, but actually it’s very technical and rigorous. Mark Whigham has come to us on-site to run us through our health & safety requirements, and he really knows his stuff.
“Croner have also helped us with our employment contracts and handbooks. This was particularly helpful when it came to TUPE too. One of the practices we took on—their documentation wasn’t very clear. We took advice and had some help with the contracts and now we’ve managed to navigate through that. They’ve got all-new contracts in place that work for us and are compliant.”
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