Specialist dentistry opens wider to health professionals who use the service

Dentists from across the county and their staff were recently treated to a behind the scenes look at the Specialist Dental services provided by Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT).

The event, ‘Open Wider – a look inside the Specialist & Special Care Dental Service’, was held at the Carlisle Dental Centre. Dentists from across the county refer patients to the specialist services who need more support than the high street dentist is able to offer, or patients who require very specialist treatments. However many have never met the specialist team in person before.  

More than 40 people from various Dental Practices across Cumbria come together to share knowledge and gain an insight into the specialist dental service which they refer patients into.

Julie King, the Chair of Cumbria Local Dental Network attended the event and said:

“The team were fantastic as was the event. I work up at out of hours so I thought I knew about the service, however I learnt a lot. It was excellent to talk to team members who were extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic about their speciality.”

Stations showcasing the variety of work that the service provides were set up to allow the dental professionals to gain an understanding of each aspect of the service and put faces to the names of CPFT staff that provide the care. These stations included information on the Dental Hub referral system, the emergency dental care triage system, orthodontics, paediatric dentistry, IV sedation and domiciliary care, CPFT’s ‘Smile 4 Life’ prevention programme and the service’s dental laboratory.

Enabling each health professional to meet and greet and understand the Service has developed the relationships between CPFT staff and the health professionals who attended.

Stephen Jones, Clinical Director of Dental Services also explained the referral system and a brief history of how the Service was born and where it aims to go in the future.

All attendees filled out an evaluation form and 80-95% shared that they found the evening very good or excellent.

Yvonne Halliwell, Senior Dental Officer at CPFT said:

“As a team we have been doing a Great Teams Engagement course and one of the outcomes of this journey was to organise an event to let referrers to our Dental Service see what we do first hand. The “Open Wider” open evening was the first of its kind; we are all extremely happy with its success and will definitely be running more in the future for other health professionals who use our service”.

Over 25 members CPFT staff joined in at the event to help make sure the evening ran smoothly.