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a blog by Chris Barrow

Is your Practice manager managing? A guest post from Lisa Bainham

For those that know me, understand that I fully support and empathise with the struggles of Practice Management. Not only from being in this role currently, also from my own clients, the members I support through ADAM (Association of Dental Administrators and Managers), but also from posts I see on various social groups.

I recently had a conversation with a colleague and we both wondered whether the principals were aware that their PMs were relying on Facebook forums to learn their roles and ask for help.

The forums, can be a great source of help and knowledge for a PM needing support and answers to their questions, but some of the questions asked make me shudder.

“Has anyone got a fire risk assessment they can share?” “I need a template for a contract” or “Can anyone share a list of emergency drugs they use”

The list goes on and on and has no boundaries.

Almost all the questions asked involve compliance, HR/Employment law, or even basic day to day PM tasks.

My questions are:

  • Is the owner/principal aware that their practices are vulnerable and not being managed effectively or safely?

  • If they are aware, is it they can’t afford to pay for professional support such as a compliance company or HR support services, or do they not think the rules do not apply and are happy to just get by as best they can?

PMs who are out of their depth and inexperienced, need support, and this will include professional support.

They are not lawyers, accountants, health and safety experts, and should not be encouraged to seek answers to seriously regulated activities and implement systems and policies within their practices, based on someone’s opinion on a forum (unless that person is of course knowledgeably correct in their responses, which often we would not know to be true or not).

I realise that this isn’t true for many practices and PMs, but there does seem to be an increasing number of shocking posts and questions being asked, which given our struggles over the last few years, is understandable, but please ensure you are receiving correct advice and support.

One of the reasons I became involved with ADAM is to try to give support to those who need it, and we have a wealth of sponsors and partners in the industry who work with us to ensure that our members’ questions are answered correctly. ADAM memberships is £120 a year and the benefits and perks will more than cover this investment. For more information go to

Or If you would like to know more about how I support and mentor Practice Managers, throughout the UK, you can contact me on 07964867286 or find out more at

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