Integrated Dental Holdings’ (IDH) new dental training academy and practice of the future officially opened its doors today (Wednesday 29 May).
Barry Cockcroft, chief dental officer for England, opened the centre – the first opportunity for senior people in the dental industry and IDH employees to see the modern facilities in operation.
The IDH academy includes an online learning system, phantom head room, learning rooms and live patient demonstrations via the on-site practice and the state of the art technology in the facility.
The Academy will announce a new initiative with Salford schools to raise awareness of preventative oral care for local children. It will also announce a new partnership with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) to focus on the joint development of tailored learning programmes for IDH clinicians.
The Academy’s ambition is to deliver both online and face to face training programmes initially for IDH’s 7,000 people. This is part of IDH’s commitment to the development of its people and to the on-going delivery of high standards of dental care across the UK. Once established, the Academy will also open its doors to the wider profession and provide training and development for clinicians and dental care professionals.
The IDH academy and local operational team are working with the Dental Playbox Project, part of Action for Sick Children to help children in Manchester and surrounding areas learn about improving their oral health through play and experimentation. Staff from the academy and the on-site practice went to visit Walkden School on 20 May and children from another local school are coming to the facility on 10 June for their lessons in the dental chair.
IDH plan to run some seminars for their dentists with the Dental Playbox Project around communicating with children to help extend this initiative across their national network of practices.
The agreement in development with UCLan reinforces both the University and IDH’s commitment to the development of UK dental teams using an approach that combines research-informed teaching and supervised clinical application. The partnership could ultimately mean learning pathways from foundation year to MSC level in a range of clinical disciplines including Implantology, Oral Surgery, Cosmetic Dentistry, Endodontology and Peridontology.
Also under discussion is the development of accredited learning programmes for nurses, hygienists, therapists and technicians as well as joint involvement in primary care research initiatives. And to ensure educational standards the IDH academy has created an Educational Advisory Board, which is to be chaired by Professor StJohn Crean (Professor of Medicine in Dentistry, UCLan)
Barbara Sutherland, head of the Dental Academy said: 'The Academy is our way of providing IDH people with a well-defined career path. Developments in preventative care and cosmetic solutions have increased the industry’s need for an enhanced skill mix providing more opportunities for all those involved in the dental profession. Our potential strategic partnership with UCLan is another way of strengthening and widening the impact of clinical education within a primary care setting to enhance the patient experience.'