The annual meeting with Linda – and now her new collaborator Nathan Poole – is an important part of the year.
“They do an overview of the previous year and we plan for the year ahead. One epic review took seven hours and was amazing. This is not just about money. They will give their advice on a whole myriad of things and then there is loads of follow-up. I know I can speak to her at any time.”
Without a doubt the most challenging experience of his working life has been when the country went into lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“At the time I was on holiday and my brother – also a dentist – was ringing me and we were both so worried. Linda was very calming. She gave us lots of information on the furlough scheme on business loans, everything we needed to stay afloat.”
Jamie said he had never felt so deeply the responsibility of being an employer. Some staff were furloughed and others paid to offer a triage service. “We depend on our staff and they depend on us. Some of them are parents with young children and they need their income from us. We were worried we would not survive and we would have to lay people off. Once again Linda was there, sharing our sense of responsibility for our employees and focused on keeping the business going in everyone’s interests.”
“The business side of dentistry is so important and dentists get no training. I am very lucky that Linda has her eye out for me and she never gets it wrong.”
Now, Jamie is looking at retirement. His exit strategy is centred on a foundation dentist who as a young child was a patient of his. Inspired by Jamie to become a dentist, he is coming into the practice as a trainee. Jamie says he is ready to retire but worrying about telling his loyal patients. Linda’s advice? Just do it Jamie!