Large dental group opens wide and swallows Fort practice

Dentist, Gregor Muir, with Practice Managers, Gillian Matheson (left) and Jillian Bruce. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, The Write Image/alba.photos NO-F01-MS-Dental-Care-Gillian-Matheson-Jillian-Bruce-Gregor-Muir.jpg
Dentist, Gregor Muir, with Practice Managers, Gillian Matheson (left) and Jillian Bruce. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, The Write Image/alba.photos NO-F01-MS-Dental-Care-Gillian-Matheson-Jillian-Bruce-Gregor-Muir.jpg

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Fort William’s only dental practice along with its sister practice in Glencoe have been acquired by a rapidly-growing Scottish dental group.

Since opening in 2001, M&S Dental Care has become a vital service to Fort William and its surrounding area, realising the vision of its owner Gregor Muir in making both NHS and specialist dental care accessible.

The practice has subsequently expanded to become one of the largest in the Highlands, with eight surgeries, 10 dentists and one hygienist serving a growing customer base.

Along with M&S Dental Care in Glencoe, which was acquired in 2013, it serves more than 20,000 patients, with some travelling from as far afield as Inverness, Skye, Mallaig and The Trossachs.

Mr Muir believes the Clyde Munro partnership will bring further benefits to his combined 30-strong team, while maintaining the strong culture and identity of the practices.

‘This business is deeply personal to me and along with our loyal and driven team we’ve created practices we’re immensely proud of,’ he said.

‘It was so important to them and our customers that we didn’t sell out to a faceless corporate firm that would change our fabric.

‘Unlike many other groups, Clyde Munro is Scotland-specific, so it understands the complex market. The enthusiasm of its team is infectious.

‘It is very exciting to now become part of a bigger group as it will provide access to mentoring and the ability to bounce ideas of top operators in the field.’

Glasgow-headquartered Clyde Munro is an entirely Scottish-based and Scottish-focused dental group. Since being founded by Jim Hall in 2015 it has enjoyed rapid growth and this latest acquisition takes the company’s portfolio to 38 practices.

Speaking on the latest rural acquisition, Mr Hall, said: ‘Gregor’s ethos is remarkable and it is thanks to his commitment to staff and patients that the practices have become a vital part of the communities they serve.

‘We want to help him further still and ensure the North West Highlands benefits from leading dental care for many years to come.’

Mr Muir, now 49, was just 28 when he acquired his first practice in Fort William, driven in part by his desire to escape his native Glasgow to pursue a highly active lifestyle. Along with his wife, he has since made the town his family home, bringing up three children.

He will continue to run the practices and hopes the deal will further enable him to expand the range of services on offer with the support of Clyde Munro’s wider network.

Mr Muir added: ‘Children were having to take days out of school to travel 60 odd miles to Inverness or Glasgow to receive orthodontics every 10 weeks – which we thought was crazy.

‘I must thank the team who have come on this journey with us and enabled us to offer such a high level of service. When I first opened recruitment was a real challenge.

‘This was a tough experience but it allowed us to tap into a niche market of dentists who had similar interests, which has helped mould our current staff into a close-knit bunch – since then we started to attract like-minded people.

‘We even run an adventure club on a Tuesday – and we can be skiing in the morning before work. It really is a special part of the world.’