The Bancroft Dental Practice in Hertfordshire is housed in a building that was originally an 18th century stable block on the main trade route between London and the North and although the practice design and décor did not reach quite as far back as that, it was definitely in need of an overhaul and modernisation.
Dr Frank Gouldbourn, who had been an associate since 1991, took over the practice in 2005 and set about bringing it up to date; “Having last been refurbished in the 1980s, the practice was in dire need of modernisation and bringing into line with all current regulations as well as possible future ones. The initial plan after acquisition was to stage improvements into two parts, reception area, patient restrooms and kitchen first followed by a more complex refurbishment of the treatment rooms and provision of a treatment coordination room and central sterilisation unit at a later date.”
Frank has successfully realised his dreams and not only has the practice been completely transformed, the rebranding exercise has encompassed every aspect of Bancroft Dentistry.
It took several attempts with architect, Chris Bateman to achieve the desired look we wanted for the front of house area because of the odd dimensions of the building. That meant that most of the furniture and carpentry for this stage of the build had to be completely bespoke and needless to say there were many phone calls to check that measurements and angulations taken were actually as recorded.
The new patient lounge now accommodates tub seating, hygiene bar and refreshments with an in- built fridge for cold drinks and WiFi while the restrooms are more in keeping with a top end boutique hotel and attract many favourable comments.
The reception desk has room for sunken computers and far greater space for advertising with a silent telephone system to keep noise to a minimum, a plasma screen that is kept mute but with subtitles and an in-office surround sound audio system plays relaxing sounds to add to patient comfort and the calm, welcoming ambience . Room for a sympathetically designed office for the practice manager allows for a discreet presence near to reception as well as remote answering of sensitive calls.
The kitchen area was redesigned to allow for modern appliances, a place for staff to relax and eat lunch as well as staff restroom and lockers. The space gained by better design has been used to place modern bespoke archived record storage.
Much to the initial confusion of some staff and patients, the front door was moved to provide better disabled access to the practice and lavatories. A new window was added to increase natural light to the area as well.
Once the meticulous planning, detailed design and first stage of building were underway, Frank was ready to tackle the next step in rebranding the practice, redesigning the website and introducing a practice membership plan with the help of Breathe Business coach Simon Hocken and website designer and marketing expert Adam Hampson. The practice also involved some long term, valued patients who fitted the target demographic (40 plus age group) in this process and after a number of meetings, designs and discussions, the new brand emerged - Bancroft Dentistry - which then meant new practice stationery, welcome packs, information leaflets and of course, website.
Work on the website started in earnest soon after the rebrand with an emphasis on making it as user friendly as possible and geared to the practice’s target group. Frank firmly believes that “ A website is never truly completed and that it continues to evolve. This is the philosophy that the practice lives by and consequently the current website is constantly being added to and ‘tweaked’ to update offers and information. “
Restructuring the treatment areas was to be by far the biggest outlay, both in terms of time and finances. The aim was to cut the number of treatment rooms from four to three, add a treatment co-ordination room and central sterilisation unit and again, work within the constraints of the building.
To maximise the natural light a new window was added and each treatment room fitted with curved doors to break up the straight lines of the existing corridor.
For the vital cabinetry and equipment for the treatment rooms , Frank brought in building contractors, Aspects and Clark Dental who had worked together previously and had a proven track record in their teamwork . Frank opted for a clean lined, minimalist design to create the illusion of space in each room and equipped each with well sourced high-end equipment in air conditioned surroundings;
Bancroft Dentistry has successfully and stylishly moved from the 1980s into the 21st century and with the help of all the experts involved in the refurbishment and rebranding now boasts an elegant, modern practice that attracts enthusiastic comments from patients and visitors.