Dental practice supports NHS as tough times start to bite

A family run Greater London dental practice has donated all of its personal protective equipment (PPE) to NHS colleagues and stands ready to join the frontline fight against coronavirus.


 Share via LinkedIn  Share via Twitter  Share via Facebook  Share via email

Read time: 5 mins      Added: 29/05/2020

Love Teeth in North Cheam closed its doors to patients on 16 March, a week before the Chief Dental Officer of England ordered all dentists to put down their drills.

Owner and principal dentist Dr Kunal Patel said: "Even though as a dental clinic, our cross infection and safety protocols were already exceptional, reducing patients travelling for appointments was key.

"We realised that by keeping our doors open we weren't helping the fight against COVID-19.

"Keeping our team, patients and the community safe was the priority and we had to think of the greater good."

Love Teeth was founded in 2014 and has 21 staff, including six associate dentists, two hygienists and six dental nurses.

The state-of-the-art, award-winning digital clinic, which also trains other dentists, has 13,600 NHS and private patients and offers a complete range of services, from cosmetic to emergency dentistry.

Since closing, the practice moved to donate all its stocks of PPE to NHS colleagues, including 30,000 pairs of gloves and 1500 face masks and Dr Patel promised his valued staff they would not lose out financially during the crisis and they would continue to receive full pay.

Love Teeth's NHS staff however, did not qualify for the government's furlough scheme, which pays 80 per cent of staff wages. It continued to receive its NHS income as staff were still phone triaging and stayed ready to be deployed if needed for the wider NHS, but this left Dr Kunal Patel facing a substantial funding gap.

A £250,000 loan to the practice from Lloyds Bank, through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) has helped to plug that gap, meaning Dr Patel could keep the promise he made to his staff. It also makes sure the 13,600 patients have a dental clinic to return to after the pandemic is over.

"It was a very nervous time, but with Lloyds' support, I know we will survive. My team are like my family. It would have been disastrous if we had to lose any of them."

Dr Kunal Patel, Owner, Love Teeth

"Now the whole team stands ready to be deployed when called upon for the wider NHS.

"Our roles are likely to be secondary to doctors, but we do have useful clinical knowledge and we want to help our NHS colleagues.

"But we want to reassure our patients that we will be back to complete their treatments and serve our community again."

Julie Haggerty, commercial relationship manager at Lloyds Bank, said: “We know that there are many successful businesses with bright futures that need extra support during the coronavirus outbreak.

"We're working with customers' right across the region to guide them through these tough times and help them access the support that’s available, including through CBILS."

All lending is subject to status.

Important legal information

Lloyds Bank is a trading name of Lloyds Bank plc, Bank of Scotland plc, Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets plc and Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets Wertpapierhandelsbank GmbH.

Lloyds Bank plc. Registered Office: 25 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HN. Registered in England and Wales no. 2065. Bank of Scotland plc. Registered Office: The Mound, Edinburgh EH1 1YZ. Registered in Scotland no. SC327000. Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets plc. Registered office 25 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HN. Registered in England and Wales no. 10399850. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under registration number 119278, 169628 and 763256 respectively.

Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets Wertpapierhandelsbank GmbH is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets plc. Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets Wertpapierhandelsbank GmbH has its registered office at Thurn-und-Taxis Platz 6, 60313 Frankfurt, Germany. The company is registered with the Amtsgericht Frankfurt am Main, HRB 111650. Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets Wertpapierhandelsbank GmbH is supervised by the Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht.

Eligible deposits with us are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). We are covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). Please note that due to FSCS and FOS eligibility criteria not all business customers will be covered.

While all reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the information provided is correct, no liability is accepted by Lloyds Bank for any loss or damage caused to any person relying on any statement or omission. This is for information only and should not be relied upon as offering advice for any set of circumstances. Specific advice should always be sought in each instance.