Smiles all round at project’s award win

Members of the dental team with the award (left to right) Jo Mackintosh, Susan Cartwright, Alex Rushworth and Michelle Hedquist.

Members of the dental team with the award (left to right) Jo Mackintosh, Susan Cartwright, Alex Rushworth and Michelle Hedquist.

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A GROUND-breaking project which delivers a dental service for children in care in North Tyneside has won a national award.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s initiative for looked after children in the borough won the ‘continuity of care’ award at the Patient Experience Network (PEN) awards.

The scheme, which operates in partnership with professionals responsible for the children’s welfare and wellbeing, ensures there is no interruption in dental care for children entering care, resulting in oral health improvements.

The project started as a 12-month pilot in the borough in 2010 but has continued due to its success.

Community dental officer Dr Alex Rushworth, who co-ordinates the project alongside senior oral health promotion officer Jo Mackintosh, said: “We are really excited and proud to have won this award.

“Although Northumbria Dental Service already assessed and treated looked after children, this service means we have more robust links with everyone involved in the care of patients.”

The service provides specialised NHS dental and oral health promotion services for adults and children in the borough and Northumberland who have been referred by a medical or dental practitioner or other healthcare professional.

Annie Laverty, the trust’s director of patient experience, said: “This project was truly unique as the service was tailor-made to meet the needs of the children in full partnership with those responsible for their welfare, the children themselves and their carers.”