Community Dental Services Essex
Community Dental Services is an employee owned social enterprise CIC delivering clinical dental and Oral Health Promotion services throughout Bedfordshire, Luton, Suffolk, Thetford, Norfolk, Waveney, Oxfordshire, Leicestershire, Essex, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. The Essex Community Dental services have 8 clinics spread over Witham, Grays, Southend, Epping, Colchester, Clacton, Brentwood and Harlow. We combine a public service ethos with the innovation and dynamism of a business and emerged with a vision and a belief that being a competitive, well-run and profitable business is the best way of achieving social aims. As a social enterprise we are a business that trades for a social purpose. We have a clear sense of our social mission which is ‘Improving Oral Health in Ever More Communities’ and we know what difference we are trying to make, who we aim to help, and how we plan to do it. We make our income through delivering dental care and oral health promotion. Our services are predominantly commissioned by either NHS England and Local Authorities to deliver NHS dental care and oral health promotion advice to a wide range of people across a diverse range of communities. We also offer some privately paid for dental treatments and have a growing ‘Dentist at Home’ mobile service where we offer paid for dental care and home visits to people who find it difficult to travel or to visit a High Street dentist.
- 8 July 2020
- East of England
- Health, Medical
- Local Alliances:
- Epping Forest District Dementia Action Alliance
1. Action Plan
1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?
We, Community Dental Services, aim to make all of our clinics dementia friendly and gain “Working to become Dementia Friendly” accreditation; thus ensuring that we offer exceptional support to those living with dementia and also pass on our knowledge and expertise within our care and training that the oral health team deliver to care staff within care homes.
Community dental services are seeking “Working towards being Dementia Friendly”. Many of current our staff (around 60%) have undertaken the Dementia Friends training online but we are aiming for 100% of the team to be trained by Jan 2021. The Community Dental Services will also look to display dementia friendly signage within our clinics, which are also part of hospital buildings and health centres, which will benefit a large number of people including those affected by dementia and those not immediately affected by dementia. I, Emma Gunner, am intending to train as a Dementia Friends Champion and was booked onto a Dementia Friends champions course through the Alzheimer’s Society, which unfortunately was postponed due to Covid-19. The aim was that I would be trained and then could deliver Dementia Friends training annually and to new staff members joining the team. I will attend the training once it has been reinstated. When delivering training to care homes, local authorities, health care workers we always signpost them to the Dementia Friend’s website for resources and training and will continue to do so. Community Dental Services also work closely with several hundred dentists that refer into our service so we will signpost and encourage them to undertake the Dementia Friends sessions and make their service more dementia friendly. We have a website that will display the link to signposting to dementia friends where patients/people affected by dementia can source support and advice for either themselves or their loved ones. I am also a member of Basildon Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) and have supported the members with oral health education that can then be cascaded. The Community Dental Services has also joined the Pan Essex DAA.
We are committed to meeting the needs of people affected by dementia and aim for these actions to be in place within a year. However, actions and progress will also need to be regularly updated and therefore this will be a lifelong, everchanging action plan following guidance from the Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia Friends Team.
2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?
Current evidence shows that people affected by dementia are less likely to seek dental treatment; this may be for a variety of reasons: a person may not understand the importance of good dental care, a person with dementia may not be aware that they are in need of dental treatment, they may not remember to book regular check-ups with their dentist or may forget to attend an appointment, they may not remember or recognise their local dental practice, they may not relate pain to issues with their teeth/gums or they may be anxious about attending a dentist. Carers/loved ones of people living with dementia may not have time, due to their caring commitments, to visit their dentist or may not be aware of the services available such as the Community Dental Service
Provide dementia friends sessions online for all staff
Around 60% of our staff have undertaken the Dementia Friends training online but we are aiming for 100% of the team to be trained by Jan 2021.
- Being implemented
Display dementia friendly signage within all clinics
With continuous work on being a dementia friendly company, The Community Dental Services will display dementia friendly signage within our clinics, which are also part of hospital buildings and health centres, which will benefit a large number of people including those affected by dementia and their carers.
- Being implemented
Oral Health Improvement Manager for Essex (Emma Gunner) to become a dementia friends champion
I, Emma Gunner, was booked onto a dementia friends champion training however this was postponed due to Covid-19.
The aim is that I will be trained and then could deliver Dementia Friends training annually and to new staff members joining the team. I will attend the training once it has been reinstated.
When delivering training to care homes, local authorities, health care workers we always signpost them to the Dementia Friend’s website for resources and training and will continue to do so
Signpost external services to the dementia friend’s website
Community Dental Services work closely with several hundred dentists that are referred to our service so we will signpost and encourage them to undertake the Dementia Friends sessions and make their service more dementia friendly. We will display the link on our website to signpost to dementia friends where people living with dementia can source support and advice for either themselves or their loved ones