Dental nurses celebrate their successes

A presentation and luncheon to celebrate the success of the first Dental Nurses to achieve the Certificate in Oral Health and Application of Fluoride Varnish was recently held in Rochdale.

This course is the result of an innovative partnership between North Western Deanery, The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and Colgate in producing a portable university accredited course for registered Dental Nurses to deliver evidence-based oral health advice and apply fluoride varnish. Heywood Middleton and Rochdale PCT commissioned this course as part of their workforce development initiative within their local PCT.

Leslie Mort, Executive Director for Primary and Community Care in Heywood Middleton and Rochdale opened the proceedings stating how pleased she was that this course, the first of its kind in England, had been delivered in partnership with NHS Heywood Middleton and Rochdale. She said: ‘Following the success of this programme, our nurses will be able to positively contribute towards improving the oral health of patients in the borough with advice on oral health and the application of fluoride varnish.’

She acknowledged the hard work and dedication that the nurses had shown in being successful in achieving their certificate. She added: ‘It is a credit to them and to their trainers and dentist mentors that they are here to receive their certificate from Barry Cockcroft, Chief Dental Officer, England. The PCT is delighted to have participated in this project and looks forward to encouraging skill mix in our dental practices, and to further support around innovative projects of this kind.’

Rebecca Craven, Consultant in Dental Public Health for NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale, gave a presentation on the background to the scheme, highlighting the need for prevention within the local population. Having been involved in delivering the course locally, she also outlined that this approach was aligned with Delivering Better Oral Health – An evidence-based toolkit for prevention launched by the DH 2007.(1)

Barry Cockcroft offered his congratulations to NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale and to the Dental Nurses, in being the first to complete this course. The Chief Dental Officer (England) said: ‘The two main forms of dental disease, periodontal disease and caries, are almost 100% preventable by patient action; this programme, which includes evidence-based oral health advice, delivered by Dental Nurses, will help patients along that path. The application of fluoride varnish is one of the most effective, evidence based measures of preventing decay; this additional training is allowing the competencies of Dental Nurses to grow into a much greater role of preventing dental disease.’

This course is open to registered Dental Nurses in current employment with the support of their employer and PCT. For further information within Cumbria and Lancashire contact UCLan Course Enquires on 01772 892400. For all other areas outside Cumbria and Lancashire, please contact the Portable Training Team on 0161 665 2882.

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