Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry’s (PUPS MD) Dental Education Facility in Truro is the first of its kind in the UK to be inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) – and the first to pass the inspection with flying colours.
The Dental Education Facility in Truro is one of four in the South West (a further two are in Plymouth and one in Exeter). They are vital to the training of dental students, because it is there that they provide NHS dental services and treatments to patients under the close supervision of qualified dentists.
More than 10,000 NHS patients have been treated by PUPS MD dental students since the first Dental Education Facility opened in 2008.
Third year dental students are trained in Truro where they carry out a range of treatments for NHS patients, from simple check-ups to fillings, extractions, crowns, dentures and advice on oral hygiene and oral disease prevention.
The CQC inspection took place in March this year. The inspectors made their judgments based on what they saw, but also on what they were told by patients. Patient comments were overwhelmingly positive: 'It’s the best dental service I’ve ever received'; 'the students did everything right. They listened to me, sought my opinion, discussed the treatment plan with their supervisor and then shared the outcome with me to see if I was OK with it'.
The inspection covered five key areas: respecting and involving people who use services; care and welfare of people who use services; cleanliness and infection control; requirements relating to workers, and; assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision. The Dental Education Facility in Truro met the standard for all these areas.
Professor Christopher Tredwin, head of the School of Dentistry at Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, said: 'We were the first dental school to create a programme where students receive training in a primary care setting, that is, in practice within the community rather than based in a hospital where students at other dental schools in the UK are trained.
'A consequence of being the first is that we are the first dental school in the country to undergo a CQC inspection of its clinical facilities. We are delighted by the result in Truro and my congratulations go to my colleagues and our students for consistently maintaining the highest levels of patient care and dental practice.'