September 11, 2020
A total of five months has now passed since the B & A Group, the umbrella company for the nine Finest Dental Practices, went into liquidation. Prior to that each and every one of the nine Finest Dental surgeries closed (November 2019) and patients were denied access and provided with little to no further information.
As you will know, the closure of the business was inevitable and totally unrelated to Coronavirus, which did not result in dentistry shutting down until late March 2020. The cause of the problems for the company were financial with creditors of the company not being paid, ultimately leading to the “end of the road” for Finest.
Prosperity Law attempted to make contact with the Liquidator to see if we could assist with the disposal of what remained of the practices but it became apparent that they only had authority to deal with the affairs of the holding company and not the individual practices.
Furthermore, the goodwill of the company was no longer a valuable asset.
Consequently, we turned our attention to the people that mattered the most and who had been affected financially and emotionally by the collapse – you, the patients.
We reached this decision for a number of reasons: –
- The importance of a smile and the need that people place on having teeth in good condition;
- The emotional distress that has been caused as a result of the downfall of what was a trusted provider of dental services;
- The knowledge that we have of the dental services industry and
- A willingness to try and assist those who had been caught up in this “mess” through no fault of their own.
Whilst we cannot turn the clock back and correct any treatment that has failed, been poorly provided or has not yet commenced but in all of these cases, paid for in part or in full, our thinking was that we would aim to temper the emotions that were being felt by seeking financial recompense for the patients.
Patients had paid for their dental procedures, some in advance, some on a monthly basis, some by a lump sum at the outset and the balance on conclusion. However, whatever the arrangement following the closure last November, they were all in the same position, having paid for treatment that had not been commenced or completed.
It is not difficult to imagine the anger and emotional upset that this has caused.
Now 11 months on and five months from the liquidation, we have had almost 200 patients request our assistance in recovering fees that they have paid by cash, debit card, bank transfer, credit card or finance agreement.
This number continues to rise daily.
We have engaged with every patient that has contacted us, providing them with a number of questions to respond to and have also been supplying a “Proof of Debt”, a form which we have agreed to deposit with the liquidators just in case the individual practices do fall under their jurisdiction. Each and every one of you is a creditor and entitled to have your voice heard.
We are now ready to put pressure on the credit card companies and finance houses to reimburse the patients, given that they have a right under the Consumer Credit Act to protect their interests. In order to do so, we need to work with you as well as for you.
We anticipate that as time passes, more Finest Dental patients will seek out help and are happy to help where we can. Equally, with the impact that Coronavirus is having, it is possible that there may be other organisations finding themselves in similar situations as time passes.
The dental industry will recover but these are trying times for practitioners and patients alike.
As many have done in the months that have passed since lockdown, if you have been affected financially as a result of Finest Dental or any other dental organisation closing their doors and wondering where to turn, please contact us.
Either myself or Ryan Hodgkinson will be on hand to assist you.
Jonathan Jacobs – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ryan Hodgkinson – email@example.com
Once we have the initial information from you, we will then discuss with you how to proceed with the recovery of money that you paid to Finest Dental in good faith, for treatment that has not been to your expectation.