Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal gave Queen Mary University of London’s new dental school the royal seal of approval on Thursday 30 April.
The Princess Royal toured the £78m facilities, meeting and talking to dental staff and students from QMUL and Barts Health NHS Trust – as well as surprising patients being cared for.
‘It is a pleasure and a privilege to see the real step changes in technology used today,’ The Princess Royal said after her tour and after unveiling a plaque to celebrate the occasion – the UK’s first new dental school and hospital to open in 40 years.
‘It has moved on quite a bit and new buildings like this give the opportunity to see how well it works for everyone.
‘There is a very nice atmosphere here and I’m happy everything is going so well for patients.’
Rosanna Lucas was among those who The Princess Royal met and chatted with on her tour of the facilities.
When aged eight, Rosanna had four teeth removed by the hospital team, and the 10-year-old from Havering presented Her Royal Highness with a posy of flowers.
‘It was an absolute pleasure to welcome The Princess Royal,’ Dr Philip Taylor, clinical director for dentistry, Queen Mary University of London and Barts Health NHS Trust, commented.
‘We hope that the visit provided Her Royal Highness with a good insight into our excellent facilities and the dedication of our teams to ensuring the bright future of dental health in London.’
Modern and advanced
Following more than a decade of planning and construction, the QMUL claims the new dental facilities are the most modern and technologically advanced in the UK, meaning an improved patient experience for the 70,000 appointments that take place at the hospital each year and an enhanced educational environment for students.
People from across London and beyond are referred to the hospital for a range of care including orthodontics, paediatric dentistry, restorative dentistry and oral and maxillofacial surgery.
QMUL trains around 400 dental students in the new facilities each year, making up an active part of the hospital’s clinical workforce.
In addition, the hospital provides specialist trauma and cancer services, performing almost 4,000 operations per year working closely with colleagues at the nearby The Royal London Hospital.
‘Today is an exciting day for our dental school,’ Professor Mike Curtis, dean for dentistry at the Queen Mary University of London, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, said.
‘Our local communities face some of the most challenging health needs of anywhere in the UK and the new dental hospital and school has a key role to play in benefiting our local people.
‘We take huge pride in providing first class education in dentistry and performing internationally recognised research and we are delighted to have welcomed Her Royal Highness here today to see our staff and students in action.’