Innovative dental training centre gets leadership team

An innovative dental training centre has moved a step closer to its summer opening by appointing its senior leadership team.

It marks a defining point for the £9 million University of Portsmouth Dental Academy which will welcome its first student dentists in September.

The new Dental Academy is the shared vision of the University of Portsmouth and King’s College London Dental Institute (KCLDI).

The collaboration will see final year undergraduate student dentists from KCLDI and dental care professionals from the University training together in teams in a state-of-the-art facility. 

The newly appointed Director of the Dental Academy, Sara Holmes MBE, says: ‘We’re pursuing a model of health education where final year dental students work alongside dental therapists, hygienists and nurses in teams that will prepare them all for the transition to general dental practice. By teaching in a team-based primary care setting we’re breaking new ground in dental education.’ 

Students and staff will provide high-quality, prevention-based minimal intervention care to a diverse range of local patients.

They will work with dental professionals and health organisations in the area in a joint endeavour to raise the oral health of communities in and around Portsmouth, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.  

The Dental Academy will also offer a proactive and dynamic programme of continuing professional development training events to local dental care professionals and there will be opportunities for new research on integrated dental team training.

Building and set up costs for the Dental Academy have been funded by grants from the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the NHS.

The additional annual running costs will be funded by contracts with the local NHS and KCLDI.

Sara Holmes is joined by clinical directors, John Weld and Sarah Hartridge, and David Radford of KCLDI has been seconded as Director of Clinical Studies/Senior Lecturer in Integrated Dental Education and multi-professional Care, together with the new Business Manager, Sophie Dampier. 

Professor Nairn Wilson CBE, Dean and Head of King’s College London Dental Institute warmly welcomed the appointments.

He says: ‘King’s College London Dental Institute is delighted that we are one step closer to establishing the Dental Academy. I, together with the staff and students of the Institute, look forward to close collaborative working with the senior leadership team of the Dental Academy.’

The University of Portsmouth Dental Academy will be situated within the Faculty of Science and it replaces the existing School of Professionals Complementary to Dentistry which opened in 2005. 

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