Introduction to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Corporate Social Responsibility refers to the way in which businesses regulate themselves and conduct business in order to ensure that all of their activities positively affect society as a whole. Smart Dental Care’s CSR policy aims to guarantee that we work in accordance with our ethics and values; considering the social, economic and environmental impacts of what we do as a business, whilst engaging directly with local communities, as set out in our policy below.
Who We Are & What We Do
Smart Dental Care Group was started by two brothers, Suken and Subahu Shah, and acquired its first dental practice in Blackburn in 2007.The company has now grown to more than 500 clinical and support staff working in 35 dental practices as well as supporting specialist contracts for Secure Settings, Orthodontics, Minor Oral Surgery, Emergency Dental Services. The group routinely supports 10,000 patient contacts on a weekly basis.
Smart’s mission is to become the Premier Clinically Led Provider of Dental Services in England, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, offering high quality dental services in these markets through training, feedback and implementation of customer focused policies and procedures.
The central ethos of our company is to continually invest in supporting and training of our colleagues through our training arm - Smart Academy - which offers innovative training solutions for nurses including Apprentice Nurses delivering high quality qualifications such as the City and Guilds Diploma in Dental Nursing, as well as specialist courses in Restorative Dentistry, Endodontics, Orthodontics and Oral Surgery for Dentists, all of which are delivered by expert Dentists in their area of Specialism.
Smart Dental Care is mindful of the impact of its operations has on the environment. The company is actively developing solutions to become a carbon neutral provider of dental services through its on-going investment in its premises, equipment, education, by raising awareness within the organisation, reduction of travel using fossil fuels and the use of communication technology.
The company aspires to have a positive role in engaging and supporting local communities especially vulnerable and lower income patient groups through its investment in outreach programs to improve access to dental services for socio-economic patient groups who do not have access to routine dental care.
At Smart Dental Care (SDC) our CSR Director, Ishaan Dalal, is a Board member, overseeing our wellbeing programme and ensuring that health and wellbeing is a priority for the company and that the company follows the standards laid out in the Mental Health at Work Commitment:
● Staff can expect to receive, quarterly, a Mental Health at Work Questionnaire covering a range of questions on mental health and wellbeing at work. Thus, every member of the workforce has an opportunity to voice their concerns or suggestions regarding their mental health at work and what SDC can do to facilitate their wellbeing.
● Questionnaires will be reviewed by our two qualified mental health officers, working in collaboration with the CSR Officer at Board level to help inform the wider Board of any policies that might need to be adjusted as a result.
● The efficacy of any subsequent policies will be routinely measured, evaluated and reviewed quarterly by the Mental Health Officers and the CSR as follows:
Step 1: Monitor the implementation of the plan
Step 2: Evaluate the implementation of the plan
Step 3: Assess whether the policy objectives have been met, or to what extent they have been met.
Step 4: The Mental Health Officers and the CSR Officer, through quantitative and qualitative analysis of collated data, will evaluate unintended outcomes and achieved objectives, to better inform policy and to adjust any pre-existing policies if necessary.
Each practice manager has access to Isopharm Mental Health At Work CPD training, ensuring that all contracted workforce have immediate access to mental health support. Wider support includes free access to a professional Psychologist - Adrian Hallmark. He will provide a free initial counselling session, after which the recipient of the session will have the option to use the Employee Assistance Programme Counselling Service for free or be directed to more specialised support if necessary.
SDC have established Mental & Physical Health Awareness days twice per year, promoting workforce engagement on wellbeing at work. Activities include group discussions to enhance understanding of mental health at work, facilitated by qualified wellbeing practitioners.
By September 2021, contracted workforce members can access the Headspace App - a mindfulness app - through a corporate membership provided by SDC. This will be communicated via SOBW, SD’s HR system, the company newsletter and intranet.
To retain loyal and productive staff, it is vital to maintain a good working environment:
Looking After Our Customers
Our customers are at the heart of our business model. It is crucial that our services and policies exist to ensure the highest level of care for our patients, in order to instil confidence, trust, and long-lasting oral health.
We intend to ensure that all our suppliers have implemented measures to improve the wellbeing of their workers. This entails constructive dialogue with suppliers, outlining the new terms in Service Level Agreements: namely, that the supplier can show mental and physical wellbeing policies that support their workers (such as the standards in the Mental Health at Work Commitment).
We aim to achieve a sustainable net carbon neutral status by 2025 and will publish our carbon footprint annually. This process entails:
Protecting the Environment
SDC are delighted to say that we have set a targeting of achieving a sustainable net carbon neutral status by 2025 and will publish our carbon footprint annually. This process entails:
Supporting local communities is a core component of our CSR policy. There are two main strands of SDC’s community engagement: working with schools to address health inequalities and working with local charities to address employment and social issues in local communities.
We are delighted to announce that we have established partnerships with primary schools within the catchment area of our practices to provide oral health classes, beginning in September 2021.
Many of the schools with whom we have partnered have informed us that there is an extremely low rate of awareness of oral hygiene amongst children and parents, and headteachers have emphasised a high demand for this service. Simply put, the oral hygiene of children in the North of England is deteriorating rapidly, particularly in deprived areas. We will be going into these schools to teach oral hygiene to children in an interactive way and by doing so, we will have a sustained, direct impact on the wellbeing and oral health of underprivileged children in our communities.
The initiative will address health inequalities in local areas by targeting underprivileged children (and by extension, their families) who do not have routine access to dental care and to signpost them to dental services. Schoolteachers will provide feedback via a questionnaire to help re-inform the classes and improve the service.
SDC have also established a partnership with Greater Manchester Youth Network as part of their ‘World at Work Days’. This will enable GMYN’s young and vulnerable service users to:
● Understand how to establish a career in dentistry/healthcare
● Observe a clinical environment
● Learn how to develop their CV
● Access general career guidance
SDC donated £3,500 to the Shrimad Rajchandra Covid Health Centre in India to aid the hospital in their fight against Covid-19. In the words of Mayur Mehta, President of Shrimad Rajchandra Dharampur UK, ‘Due to the support of generous donors like Smart Dental Care, a further 150-bed COVID Care Centre was opened on 10th May to serve those in need. The 150-bed Care Centre supports non-critical cases of COVID patients with early intervention through comprehensive oxygen support, CT scans and blood/PCR tests. A rehabilitation programme for villagers who have lost their main wage earner, vaccine uptake programmes and health education support is also underway. All treatment at both centres remains free for those in need.’
The efficacy of all of the above policies are measured, evaluated and monitored on a quarterly basis and spearheaded by the CSR Director:
Progress is reported upon and published on a quarterly basis in order to develop or fine-tune any of the aforementioned policies.