Very early in my career I developed a special interest in communication skills, ironically through working in a hectic NHS practice – the relationship building aspect of patient care was often neglected due to a combination of patient volume overload, my inexperience and a lack of mentoring.

I soon became disillusioned with this ‘treadmill’ style of dental practice as it was patently clear to me what was missing – this was not the way I intended practicing in my chosen career.

Some time out, and a sea change (moving to Australia in 1997) gave me a different perspective on dentistry and over the following years I had the good fortune to work with some wonderful mentors in Australia and the UK.

What I realised was that the key to fulfilled and successful practice is looking after all aspects of patient care – the bedrock of Patient Centred Care is effective communication skills.