A new dental centre is being put together in a bid to handle the current crisis in NHS dentistry.
Kicked off by the University of Suffolk, the centre for dental development will be hosted at its campus in Ipswich.
The university says it is ‘a social dental enterprise’ to attract and train newly-qualified dentists. These will work within this dental facility to supply ‘additional much needed NHS dental provision’ across Suffolk.
It will also provide education and training for the current and future dental workforce.
The project has been a year and a half in the making. It looks at providing dental services– as well as education and skills provision – and the plan’s initial starting point has three key components:
- The formation of a centre for dental development
- The development of clinical simulation and treatment facilities. These will support the education and training of undergraduate students in dental therapy and hygiene. It also supports apprentice dental technicians and postgraduate dentists
- The development of a dental social enterprise offering NHS dental treatment.
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The NHS Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care Board called it a ‘medium-term solution’ that will lay the foundations for future improvements.
Professor Helen Langton is vice-chancellor at the University of Suffolk. She added: ‘This plan will be a game changer in terms of future dental health provision in Suffolk and East Anglia.
‘This will provide changes in the types of workforce and what the current workforce can do by offering a more modern training integrated with wider health care. Hence we will offer a new model of dental care, a new model of organising care and a new model of workforce.’
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