Whittington Health Community Dental Service nominated for HSJ award

Whittington Health Community Dental Service nominated for HSJ award

24 Aug 2023

The team have been shortlisted for a HSJ award in the category of ‘Modernising Diagnostics Award’.

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We’re pleased to announce that Whittington Health NHS Trust Community Dental Service (WHCDS), UCLH NHS Trust Paediatric Dental Department and Angle House Orthodontics are being recognised for their joint efforts to help local children access specialist dentistry services.

The three organisations were shortlisted for a HSJ award in the category of ‘Modernising Diagnostics Award’.

The teams had identified a lack of access to specialist paediatric dentistry support in local communities and came together to find solutions.
Normally, children requiring specialist dental treatment or consultations would have to be put on a waiting list and travel to and from a series of appointments with different health care professionals.

Now, the team’s new and innovative pathway, ‘The Paediatric Dentistry Advice Clinic’ helps to bring this specialist support closer to home by upskilling the local dental workforce through monthly teaching and support.

The training was provided through online meetings, pre-recorded instruction videos, leaflets, step by step guides, and question and answer sessions. Having worked through the pandemic, each organisation had experienced challenging the traditional mindset - that specialist dentistry advice can only be given in face-to-face consultations.

The collaboration has enabled every child seeking specialist dental treatment access to a full range of complex paediatric dentistry expected in hospital services, locally in the community.
For a patient waiting on an orthodontic opinion on their treatment plan, the team saw their waiting time reduce from 9 months to less than 1 week.

The Paediatric Dentistry Advice Clinic project is now supported by the NHS England commissioners for the region, and has been presented regionally and nationally as an exemplar of cross-organisation working for the benefit of patients and clinicians alike.
This project has been a real success and an example of how NHS organisations can come together and share best practice and improve pathways for service users in the North Central London community.
"Our team at Whittington Health have developed new skills , this has benefitted children and families in the local area," says Richard Valle-Jones, Deputy Clinical Director of Whittington Health's dental services.
"To be nominated for the award is the culmination of an exciting journey for our team, and a celebration in itself!"
One parent beautifully articulated the individual impact of this clinic: “We had four or five appointments and long wait to be seen at the hospital, and everyone kept saying different things. I like this way better!”

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