CLYDE Munro, the fast-growing Scottish dental group, has secured its 80th acquisition within eight years of its establishment.

The group, which employs more than 250 clinicians and 600 support staff, has increased its presence in South Lanarkshire after concluding a deal to take over New Cross Dental Care in Hamilton.

The New Cross practice, which was formed 40 years ago, will continue to operate with its established team of dentists, dental hygienists, and other staff further to the deal. It currently provides dental care to more than 4,500 people in Hamilton and surrounding areas, with around 4,000 registered as NHS patients.

Clyde Munro declared it was “committed” to providing “sector-leading” care for NHS patients, as well as private clients, noting that the majority of the 600,000 patients on its books are registered with the health service.

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Jim Hall, founder and chief executive of Clyde Munro, said: “The 80th acquisition of New Cross Dental Care in Hamilton marks a significant milestone for Clyde Munro and its expanding portfolio of clinics across Scotland.

“This is a strategic acquisition that strengthens our South Lanarkshire presence and adds to our cluster of practices that can utilise our specialist treatments and referrals centre within the region.

“After a period of sustained growth and investment throughout the last eight years, I am thrilled to be announcing the 80th acquisition for the Clyde Munro group. It really is testament to the passion and ambition throughout our organisation, the zest to be the best in the industry and the determination to provide sector-leading care and service to the people of Scotland – from Orkney right down to the Borders.”

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The Hamilton practice joins a group of Clyde Munro dental surgeries spread across the length and breadth of Scotland, from Stromness on Orkney and Thurso in Caithness to Oban and Fort William on the west coast, and from Galashiels in the Scottish Borders to towns along the east of the country. Clyde Munro also has a purpose-built training academy in Perth, which Mr Hall said will help it attract and retain talent at a time when the broader healthcare sector is facing a shortage of skills.

Mr Hall, who originally established Clyde Munro with professor Raman Bedi, said the company will continue to target further acquisitions as long as it can maintain its business model that is focused on the highest standards of patient care, investment in new equipment, and recruiting and retaining new talent.

The company has so far invested £2.5 million in equipment such as dental scanners as part of its digital strategy, which Mr Hall said was “vital” to the future of the company.

Mr Hall, who earlier in his career ran the giant Polaroid plant in Dumbarton, noted that there is no shortage of dental practice owners who are looking to sell. Some are preparing to retire, others are looking to free up time by handing over the demanding managerial aspects of running a practice to an owner such as Clyde Munro, allowing them to focus on dentistry or other priorities.

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“You do get people at different stages of their life deciding that they want to sell,” he told The Herald. “There are still plenty to go for. Between 25% and 30% of the practices in Scotland are part of a group of five or more, so there are still a lot of practices there you can buy, and there will be for a long time to come.”

“For me, I’m happy growing and building the business as long as we don’t get to the point where we turn into a faceless corporate.

"The values we have as a business is we are able to be very responsive to our practices, [and] that we add value to our practices. We don’t hold the practices up with lots of bureaucracy that a bigger business tends to have at times.

“I’ve set this up to empower our local practices to do what’s right for their communities because it is very different running a practice in Orkney to how you run a practice in the centre of Edinburgh, for example. I very much empower the local teams to do what is right for their patients and their community, and supply the help. I am happy to keep growing as long as we can keep that model going.”

Mr Hall, who noted Clyde Munro had started from a single site on Glasgow’s Bath Street, said it has been a “lot of work” to grow the business as rapidly as it has in the last eight years. But he said the “key” has been “building the right team around me as we have grown”.