Deciding it was about time to do something about straightening his teeth, Neil undertook some research on the options and, taking some advice from a neighbour who was working as a dental nurse, made an appointment to visit a well respected local orthodontist. It was during his records appointment early in 2013 he first met Sarah and recorded in his personal blog at the time that the ‘therapist was really kind, gentle and caring’. Sarah was nearing the end of treatment herself and it was her treatment which brought her to the practice which in turn lead her to be offered a role as an orthodontic nurse and then development to become an orthodontic therapist.
During his treatment, Neil was often seen by Sarah and inspired by the level of care he was receiving from everyone at the practice, started thinking about writing a patient-focused blog on adult orthodontics. Part way through his treatment, Sarah left the practice to join a large cosmetic focused clinic in central London. Here she developed further skills and soon became popular with both colleagues and patients.
It was over a year later when circumstances brought them together again in London as a result of some contacts Neil had made following an invitation to the British Orthodontic Society to attend the launch of their guide to adult orthodontics. They remained in contact, catching up when Neil was working in London, and during this time often discussed orthodontics and in particular how practices could develop their patient engagement processes. Neil ‘s blog was growing rapidly with a large following from around the world and through this, he was researching patient experiences. He was also invited to be one of the founding members of the British Orthodontic Society Patient Panel bringing his experiences and thoughts on adult orthodontics to the Society to support a number of projects and campaigns they were working on.
During a catch up in the Summer of 2017, they discussed combining their expertise and starting a business helping orthodontic practices to develop their patient engagement activities and following this Hillyard MacDonald was launched.