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The real work begins

Part 2 of the story of our move to 39 Newnham Road 

The real work begins with the grant of planning permission. We work out how best to design the new premises to be used for a modern, top class dentistry practice, and find superb cooperation from all staff.

Planning permission to convert the premises for medical consulting and dental surgery use was granted in September 2011. The spacious building offered many permutations in terms of the arrangement and use of rooms but careful planning, with an eye for future use was needed and this proved to be a complex task.
The integration of the functional and aesthetic design of a building for the specific purposes of a dental surgery and implementation of these is a highly specialist activity. We already had many of the elements in place: our corporate image with colours and designs, our equipment preferences and systems and our working methods and requirements. Our team structure includes members of staff with specific responsibility for areas of the business such as records and storage, hygiene and sterilisation and stock management for materials and supplies.

The new premises needed to provide facilities for all of these functions and the best people to define the requirements had to be those who were actually doing these jobs. In order to advise and guide us we had an existing team of outside engineers and organisations ranging from the dental equipment supply and installation company, Clark Dental, to our Radiation Protection Advisor and IT administrators.  

The implementation of the building work required a builder whom we could trust to deliver a quality job. Fortunately, we had a long term relationship with David Last who had carried out previous refurbishment and maintenance work. Since he had been involved with Granta Dental before, David had a good appreciation of our needs. He was good at communicating with the specialists and, most importantly, was excited by the potential of the building. He wanted to take on the project. We decided that we could jointly manage the project and engaged him as a direct employee of Granta Dental.

In September 2011, following a structural engineering survey, we called a meeting of all the staff to explore the options and opportunities for the new premises. We used an external facilitator to ensure that everyone had the opportunity to voice their ideas and concerns. Sarah encouraged a process of identifying all of the shortcomings of the existing arrangements and asked for a shopping list of facilities that the team required. I was concerned that staff members would be reticent about criticising the present set-up. It is a testament to their team-working abilities how much they were prepared to tolerate in terms of cramped environment with little complaint. The team was split into groups and sent off around the building to test out how the various rooms could be used, which functions should occupy prime location within  the building and how much space would be needed for surgeries and offices.

The proximity of the building to our existing premises allowed us the luxury of a staged approach to developing the new site. The idea was to minimise the need for any hasty decisions and to allow all of the team to be involved with the process. Our initial plan was to expand gradually into the new building, firstly providing some much needed administrative offices and facilities, then a new surgery as a satellite to the existing premises allowing for expansion of the team and only later a full occupation of the new site over an estimated 12 month period. The plan needed to have an overall design but the details could be added as we reached each stage.

[To be continued...]

Photo of plans

More planning!


Photo of building works

During the rebuilding ...

Photo of finished room

Sparkling results!

Posted on 25 October 2012
< Blog >


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