Surviving lockdown 2.0

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  Posted by: Dental Design      23rd February 2021

The announcement of a second national lockdown in England – never mind the third – was greeted with mixed feelings. Some people welcomed it as a way of keeping their families and local communities safer, while others believed it an unnecessary restriction on their freedom. Whatever you thought of the Government’s strategy, the fact remained that dental practices had to adapt and ensure they were supporting their patients as best they can.

Unlike the situation in March 2020, dental clinics remained open for lockdown round two and were able to continue caring for patients. However, like everyone else, practice team members were prevented from seeing friends and family outside the household. This, coupled with the increased PPE in the practice, caused many feelings of isolation.

Colosseum Dental UK recognised this and decided to do something about it. The leadership team wanted to help its practice teams reconnect with others, to give them an opportunity to engage with like-minded peers and to have a little fun. It has been many months since life was ‘normal’ and the build-up of stress and anxiety can take its toll on people’s mental and emotional wellbeing. Colosseum Dental UK aimed to do what it could to combat this.

Nikki Bebbington, Senior HR Business Partner for Colosseum Dental UK, comments:

“For the first lockdown, as a company, we were functionally effective. We interpreted all the information and created SOPs quickly to make sure people felt safe in clinics, applied fallow times and ensured health questionnaires. We focused on doing everything we could to protect the health of our people and our patients.

“All of this meant that we had the necessary protocols in place for the second national lockdown and we could focus elsewhere. The mood among many practice team members was low – a combination of miserable weather, no sunshine, darker mornings and nights, and feelings of a never-ending cycle. With uncertainty regarding how much festive celebrations might be impacted as well, we thought it was important to try and lift spirits and provide some support for our people’s emotional wellbeing. This was the motivation behind ‘ColosseumConnections’.”

This initiative was all about bringing a little joy into people’s lives and giving them safe activities to participate in with colleagues from across the business. A variety of virtual events were created for individuals and their families to join, including a quiz that welcomed around 60 people. There was also a night with a magician and other competition-themed events to cater to those with different tastes and interests.  

Nikki continues:

“We are looking to continue with these types of events and are open to any suggestions from individuals. We are currently creating a cookbook for the New Year that we hope will showcase some favourite recipes from people across the business, all proceeds from which will go to a food poverty charity. We have also asked anyone interested to send us a picture/painting and /or poem to feature within the book too.”

Cristina Virbanescu, practice manager at Walworth Road Dental Clinic, was one of many who enjoyed the virtual quiz, commenting:

“I found the quiz to be a really fun thing to do. It was a fantastic chance to get to know practice colleagues better, and to put a face to a name for those people throughout the business that I haven’t actually met yet. Many people attended with their families and their children, so there was a very cosy and relaxed atmosphere. It was lovely to get the opportunity to just have a bit of fun. In these unprecedented times, everyone has been sad and scared about the virus, people they care about and their jobs, so I think it was a brilliant idea for Colosseum Dental to do something that was joyful and that brought people together.”

Aside from ColosseumConnections, the organisation has also arranged “Wellbeing Wednesday” to focus on health, mindfulness and general wellbeing. It’s about offers hints and tips that individuals may find useful during their time at work or when they get home. More Care Champions have also been announced, recognising and celebrating those individuals who have gone above and beyond to support their patients or their colleagues. This will be complemented perfectly by the upcoming virtual awards scheme that will further highlight the outstanding dedication of people throughout the business.

Colosseum Dental UK has always been committed to communicating with its people and providing any support that it can. How it has reacted in the past year is a testament to the group’s ethos. Nikki concludes:

“We’re still working out logistics and details, but we are listening to what people are saying and trying to offer the type of support that people appreciate. It is important that we bring people together so they can get to know their colleagues and to interact at a time when they may otherwise feel quite isolated.”


For more information about Colosseum Dental, please visit

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