When the Community Clinic based at PDSE’s Devonport Dental Education Facility first started just over eighteen months ago it took place on just a morning once a week but since August 2018, as demand for the service has increased, the clinic now operates for one full day each week.
The Clinic is currently run by Christina Worle, dentist at Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise, Martha Paisi, Post Doctoral researcher at the University of Plymouth and Lyndsey Withers, a long-standing volunteer with the Salvation Army and who also works with other homeless support services in Plymouth.
Christina says: “The Community Clinic is an important health offer for people who are currently experiencing homelessness in Plymouth.
Close collaboration between myself, Martha and Lyndsey to ensure that patients are supported from the first meeting is the cornerstone of the clinic and flexibility to accommodate each individual patient’s potentially complex needs is paramount to the clinic’s ongoing success.”
To date fifty one patients have been seen at the Community Clinic by Christina and twenty of these patients have had their treatment plans completed. The treatment ranges from emergency interventions to relieve pain and infection, to full dental assessments and the delivery of all treatment needed.
Robert Witton, Director of Social Engagement and Community-Based Dentistry at University of Plymouth Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry and Director of Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise says:
“It is incredibly important to PDSE that the Community Clinic continues and, in time, grows to support more patients in the city. PDSE currently fund the clinic as a pro-bono contribution to the local community.”
Christina stresses the importance of good oral health: “It is one of the greatest privileges of my role as a dentist to be able to positively impact a patient’s self-esteem and confidence and ensure that, where possible, dental treatment can be integrated into a person’s recovery journey. One patient recently said “I feel 100% better. I can smile again.””
Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise is committed to improving dental health in the South West through treatment, education, community and training.