Community Dental Services

Small community dental service that formed in 2011 under the UK Mutuals Program “Right to Request”.

Interview by BCCM

Community Dental Services (CDS) is a small community dental service that formed in 2011 under the UK Mutuals Program “Right to Request”. With the help of a nationally funded Transition Director, CDS staff were supported to “spin out” from a large NHS Community Trust. A union staff vote was held to determine if the transition would proceed. 78% voted to transition.

CDS is 100% employee-owned and employs 487 people across 65 clinics. As a social enterprise, CDS trades and makes a profit for a social purpose. After investments, 10% of any surplus made each year is redistributed equitably to the business and local charities. This includes funding for performance bonuses distributed equitably to all staff. CDS has established CDS Action as a charity that receives donations from any CDS surplus each year.

Services are mostly commissioned by NHS England and Local Authorities to deliver NHS dental care and oral health promotion advice across a diverse range of communities. CDC services are commissioned by the Local Authority.

In addition to its clinics, CDS also provides mobile clinics, prison dental services, oral health clinics and services in people’s homes, retirement villages and care homes.

Employee engagement is a key part of the CDS governance model. Employees are represented in governance at the local level through to employee elected directors on the Board.

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