A riff on the day that Sheila Scott retired

Today Sheila Scott and I finish the 2017/18 Practice Plan Workshop Tour in Manchester; day 15 of 15 as we have travelled the length and breadth of the UK working with literally dozens of practices and hundreds of team members.

Much more significantly, today marks the end of Sheila’s 30-year career in dentistry – when we wave good bye to our audience at 04:30pm, that will be the end of her last day and the beginning of a well-earned retirement.

On a micro-scale of things, I will be saying goodbye to an acquaintance who became a friend.

In 1996 I attended The Dental Showcase it Birmingham’s NEC and walked around the exhibition hall without meeting anybody that I knew but energised by the idea of building a consultancy career in dentistry.

I noted that there were two established speakers and trainers in the sector, Kevin Lewis and Sheila Scott and wondered if I could ever be as well-known and in demand as they were then (and are now).

As the years passed, Sheila and I developed a mutual respect and would frequently catch up for coffee at further conferences but we never worked together.

Around 10 months ago, the call came from Practice Plan and we found ourselves in their Head Office and throwing around ideas on how to engage teams for a day in a way that would both entertain and educate. From that came “Top Hats, Toast and Moments of Truth” which, reading the feedback, has been a success.

Along the way, Sheila and I have cemented a lifelong friendship in the tears and laughter of the travelling show – it has been a huge pleasure to work with her and a privilege to get to know her better.

Sheila is, simply, a true professional.

On a macro-scale of things, Sheila’s departure will leave a vacuum in UK dental team training.

Over the years she has influenced hundreds of practices and thousands of team members.

There are dwindling numbers left of her book “Putting Health at the Heart of your Practice” and I strongly suggest that you get hold of a copy as they are set to become collector’s items as well as a career-changing introduction to the best way of providing long term care for your patients (and I’m not on commission!).

Sheila will be making an occasional appearance in the near future to raise much needed funds for her adopted Scottish cycling team.

She will also be joining myself, Ashley Latter, Simon Tucker and Les Jones as we cycle from Lands End to John o’Groats in September this year with the audacious target of completing the 900+ mile course and raising up to £50,000 for good causes (you’ll hear a lot more about that as the year progresses).

For now, we say our “goodbye” today to a real first-lady of dentistry, a true genius who has served her 10,000 hours many times over and a genuinely caring person.

Sheila you will be missed and I’m sure that many will join me in wishing yourself and Gordon many years of adventure.

(photo by Les Jones – thank you)

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Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.

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