A Cornish private practice has launched a ‘Care for Kids’ family initiative in response to the dental care crisis in the country.
A BBC investigation revealed yesterday (Aug 8) that nine out of ten NHS dental practices across the UK are not accepting new patients, with the problem worst in the south west.
Dr Felicity Bender, clinical lead and operations director at Kelly Bray-based Archway Dental, said, “The BBC report identifies the south west as a key location lacking the vital services the population desperately needs. We need to approach the problem from as many angles as possible; Oral health Education must be the starting point that would alleviate the pressure on the NHS, but of course, that takes considerable time to filter through; it is a future dividend action.”
The Government recently put Oral Health into the curriculum for PSHEE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic education) at Key Stage 1; however, the onus is on the schools to facilitate it.
Dr Bender continued: “Earlier this year, I was approached by a school asking if Archway Dental could help deliver educational sessions on oral health for their Key Stage 1 classes. I was instantly compelled to help; the need for basic education is colossal.”
The success of the educational delivery saw the practice overwhelmed by requests for a roll-out of the initiative to local schools in the area.
“We are an independent practice, but we take our place in the community and medical care seriously. We have not stopped looking at ways to help drive access to dental services, especially for families who must make a judgement call based on the cost of living,” said Dr Bender.
Archway says its Care for Kids initiative is a commitment to children and local families which will see it offer all children up to the age of 18 a free new patient consultation when joining with a paying adult, as well as reduced fees on children’s routine examinations.
Archway Dental says it will commit to continuing its school’s outreach programme and will perform an expansion of this education initiative through a series of free family healthcare webinars.