Portman-Dentex – one team, one future

The One Team – One Future Leadership Conference offered a jam-packed day of connection and growth. Rowan Thomas shares her thoughts on the event.

On Tuesday 5 December, delegates from across the Portman-Dentex network gathered at the Hilton Metropole in Birmingham for the One Team – One Future Leadership Conference. The event was the first joint conference between Portman Dental Care and Dentex Health since the companies merged in April 2023.

The day wasn’t just about colleagues connecting and familiarising themselves with the merged business; it showcased diverse sessions, including clinical lectures, invaluable practice support insights, and an inspiring speech by an Olympian luminary.

Providing clarity

In her opening address, UK and Ireland CEO Julie Ross provided valuable insight into the motivation behind the merger and the direction that the business would take. With the initial integration of the two brands complete, she expressed her excitement to move into a phase of transformation.

As she put it: ‘Change is challenging but also represents a lot of opportunity.’

In fact, Julie described the overarching purpose of the merger as the opportunity to provide best in class care, an inspiring place to work and a stable platform with which to achieve this. With this in mind, the company’s goals revolved around realising this vision going into the future.

Also conveyed was a commitment to retaining the individuality of the practices within the Portman- Dentex group – a reassuring sentiment for practice owners seeking clarity on what the merger would mean for them.

Ultimately, the goal of looking out for the interests of individual practices was a key focus. Executive director Barry Lanesman said: ‘We are shaping our business for the current circumstances to do what’s good for our practices, our people and our stakeholders.’

Sharing knowledge

Michael Davidson, chief clinical officer of Portman-Dentex, stressed the company’s intention to utilise it’s already-strong foundations to create a supportive network. He said: ‘We owe it to ourselves, to our patients and to the community we have built to support each other, driving both performance and happiness.’

One benefit of two large dental groups coming together is the ability to share knowledge and resources between individual practices. The clinical talks on offer at the conference were a prime example of this, as the clinicians in attendance benefitted from a range of education on subjects such as implant placement and clear aligner therapy.

Practice managers attended a separate stream which focused on skill acquisition for their own roles.

Suppliers and sponsors were also represented at the event with a range of exhibition stands. Delegates were able to meet face-to-face with the brands that supply the essential products and services that enable their practices to deliver high quality care.

Celebrating strengths

As this event marked the first time representatives from the entire Portman-Dentex group would gather, inspiring teamwork and confidence in the future of the business was clearly a major aim.

This was reflected in the choice of former England and Team GB women’s hockey captain Kate Richardson-Walsh OBE as a speaker from outside the world of dentistry. Drawing on her own experience of joining forces with players from outside of England to form a stronger team GB, she discussed the value of a healthy team dynamic and appreciating the unique strengths of its members.

The day was also a chance to celebrate the achievements of those who had contributed to the success of both Portman Dental Care and Dentex health to date. Black-tie clad delegates enjoyed food, drinks and entertainment into the evening.

Attendees left the Metropole with new connections, new skills and a better understanding of the company’s shared purpose and their own roles within it.

This article first appeared in Dentistry magazine. 

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