The first NHS patients to be treated by supervised students at the Peninsula Dental School Dental Education Facility based at the Knowledge Spa, Royal Cornwall Hospital, Treliske, Truro will attend appointments on Monday 11th January 2010.
The new facility has 32 dental chairs arranged in four bays of eight, plus two single surgeries for special treatments.
A range of dental care is available free of charge from dental students under the supervision of qualified local dentists. Patients should allow more time for their appointments because of this – typically between one and a half to two hours. Treatments and services include:
o Dental check-ups, oral examination and diagnosis including X-rays
o Advice for preventing tooth decay and gum disease including tooth brushing and oral hygiene instruction, dietary advice and the application of sealants that protect the surfaces of teeth
o Assessment and treatment of gum disease
o Fillings and crowns
The Dental Education Facility is an NHS training clinic for dental students. Where certain types of treatment cannot be carried out at the facility, patients will be given advice about where the treatment can be provided. These subsequent treatments will be subject to the usual NHS or private sector charges.
The first NHS patients to be treated at the Dental Education Clinic will be those contacted from the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly PCT dental treatment waiting list. Other NHS patients who are happy to be treated by a supervised dental student are welcome and should telephone the Call Centre on 0845 155 8109 to put themselves on the list for assessment and treatment.
Initially, the Truro-based Dental Education Facility will be open on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays between 9.00am and 4.30pm each week during term time and will treat at least 128 patients each week. The number of patients and frequency of clinics will increase from September as the Peninsula Dental School reaches full capacity over the four-year period of the dental course.
The Dental Education Clinic in Cornwall represents a capital investment of over £11.6 million funded through the Department of Health, the Strategic Health Authority, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the ERDF Convergence Programme, the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry and the National Dental Workforce Unit.
The Peninsula Dental School opened its doors to its first students in September 2007. Patients were welcomed to the first Dental Education Clinic in Exeter April 2008 and the second at Devonport in Plymouth in April 2009 - both facilities are proving very popular with local communities. A fourth Dental Education Facility will open at Derriford in Plymouth in Spring 2011.
Professor Liz Kay, Dean of the Peninsula Dental School, commented: “This is a very exciting stage in the development of the Peninsula Dental School, which when we are at full capacity will treat nearly 500 NHS patients a day in Exeter, Plymouth and Truro. We have received a number of visits from distinguished dental professionals who have all been impressed by the progress made by our students and their level of scientific understanding and skill.”
She added: “NHS patients in Cornwall can be assured that our students and qualified dental teaching staff will provide them with the highest quality dental service. The role of patients in the training of our students is vital and we are very grateful to those members of the public who have made a contribution. Their input helps us to train top quality dentists of tomorrow.”
More than £4.7 million of ERDF Convergence investment was approved for the building and state of the art research facilities.
Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Convergence Partnership Office for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: “This new facility is a further investment in the pioneering medical education and research opportunities offered by the Combined Universities in Cornwall. Over the last few years we have seen medical breakthroughs created here in Cornwall and through continued investment we will be supporting the economy by encouraging health-related business.”
Antek Lejk, the director of partnership commissioning for NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly said: “We are privileged to have this state of the art facility in Truro which will benefit both dental students and local people. Over the past year we have made significant investments in NHS dentistry to enable more local people to see a dentist and the opening of the Dental School will further enhance that.”
Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust Chief Executive, Peter Colclough, said: “This is another exciting step forward for the RCHT as a Teaching Hospital and in the development of medical education in Cornwall. Given the benefits we are already gaining from retaining high calibre graduate doctors and nurses from the Peninsula Medical School and the University of Plymouth’s Faculty of Health and Social Work, I have no doubt we can be confident the arrival of the Dental School will be a great asset in boosting future NHS dental provision in the county.”
Dr. Sue Brownlow, Combined Universities in Cornwall Director commented: “The creation of the Peninsula Dental School facility in Truro will prove an invaluable asset for the county and is a significant element of the third phase of the Combined Universities in Cornwall initiative. As well as providing very direct benefits to patients and students, the investment in university education will spark opportunities for individuals and businesses to prosper in the region.”