Lorraine Mattis details a new partnership that looks to provide NHS dental services to an under-served area in England.
The University of Suffolk Dental Community Interest Company is a new and exciting dental social enterprise and an innovative collaboration between the University of Suffolk and the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care Board.
The partnership seeks to provide high quality NHS dental services and experiences to the population of Suffolk and North East Essex, and supporting dental workforce training and education.
Our dental social enterprise has brand new state-of-the-art clinical facilities situated on the scenic Ipswich Waterfront.
Our fully equipped dental surgery units are provided with the latest cutting-edge technology. We have purpose-built decontamination facilities to assure best practice standards of infection control. Our facilities offer a welcoming and professional environment to make the service user experience as pleasant and relaxed as possible.
Our partnership with the university provides access to a teaching environment for students and will initially offer placements for local dental therapists and hygienists who have recently qualified or are currently in training.
We are a purpose-led and values driven organisation with a clear mission. This is to deliver ‘ordinary dental care delivered with extraordinary care’. As a new provider of NHS dental care in the Suffolk region our dental social enterprise is well-placed to:
Improve access to NHS dental care
Our top priority is to improve the oral health of local people and communities. The dental profession is all too aware of the national and local challenges around access to NHS dental care, particularly in some rural and coastal communities.
We will improve access by providing the clinical infrastructure and administration to support NHS dental service delivery.
Our dental social enterprise will be implementing national policy and spearheading primary dental care pathways which focus on stabilisation and prevention. Fundamental to this delivery is the full utilisation and skill-mix of the whole dental team.
Innovate and transform NHS dental care
Maintaining the status quo is not an option.
Our clinical philosophy with flexible and salaried terms and conditions within our truly multi-disciplinary team presents the alternative to an outdated model of siloed working and the drawbacks of self-employed status. In realising the ambition for shared care, with a clarity of offer for local people and the provider.
Together with investment in the team and individual development; our dental social enterprise partnership with the University and Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care Board is resetting the benchmark for the new ways of working as well as the benchmark for quality care.
We are looking for dynamic professionals to join us in the vanguard of change, with an opportunity to improve outcomes for local people and continue shaping the nature and design of the necessary national reforms to NHS dental care. This is just the beginning of the evolution.
Develop a dental care workforce ’fit for the future’
We are a people first culture and aim to create positive experiences for all. Our ambition is to create the next generation of dental leaders and provide opportunities for those starting or continuing a dental career in the East of England.
Our partnership with the university offers an excellent opportunity to grow, recruit and retain a multi-skilled dental workforce through cutting-edge education and training, supervision & support and research; in partnership with the wider system and working together with local dental practices.
Drive Social Impact in the local communities we serve
As a dental social enterprise our ethos is to positively impact the lives of the local people and the communities we serve. Enabling and empowering local people to help themselves and others is at the heart of what we do. We will help remove barriers to the system and reduce health inequalities.
Our dental social enterprise will reinvest profits back into the local community, whilst promoting socially and environmentally sustainable oral health care.