From Trainee Dental Nurse to Head of Operations
I started my dental career as a trainee dental nurse in 1993, working in Middlesbrough. I earned £25 per week and moved between a number of sites on local buses, of which some would take 3 buses to get to, and still I had enough money to go out every weekend…… how? I don’t know!
I qualified in 1994 and worked with Foundation Dentists for the next few years. I developed my skills and added to my duties which help me progress into Practice Management a few years later, which I did until I left in 2004 to spend more time with my daughter, Rosie.
I was only at home for 4 weeks after leaving my previous position when I was contacted by Ian Gordon, a director of a local dental group, who heard I had left my previous employer and asked if I would come and do some work with his sites on the new computer system (System 2000). I agreed to do a few days a week on a temporary basis until they had someone in place to take over. This never happened and I was offered a role after a few weeks and stayed with the Dental Centre Group until they sold to IDH in 2007. By this time I had my second child and when IDH came onboard, I was offered a regional auditor role which was really interesting and I enjoyed role. It required a lot of investigating and supporting sites especially with claim management and contract targets. I managed to do this a year before I left due to family commitments. I was finding it hard to be away from kids when my husband worked away lot.
I went onto to work for James Cook University hospital as an audit facilitator for the Cardio-thoracic department. I was responsible for making sure the patient journey was safe and productive. This was a role I really enjoyed and I made a lot of positive changes to both Intensive Care and High Dependency Unit wards but found the pace really slow.
Once again I was contacted by Ian Gordon who was in the process of setting up a new dental group, Alpha and he wanted me to join them as Business Manager. After a lot of discussions I made the decision to join them, as I love the dentistry world and it was the best decision I ever made.
I brought a lot of new skills from IDH and James Cook Hospital, which I put in place. We had a busy few years building Alpha from one site to nine, which is when Riverdale Healthcare acquired the group. I continued with my business management role as this was a mix of Operations and Finance but as the group was growing, I knew I needed to make a decision on which part of the business I wanted to grow with as Riverdale Healthcare were ready to help and support which ever decision I made.
I accepted the role of Head of Operations in Feb 2000 just before Covid struck and can honestly say it’s been the most challenging role I have ever had but also the most rewarding; watching the group grow and become something very special.
I feel very lucky to be part of Riverdale Healthcare and excited about what’s round the corner for me with my own succession plan.