Health and social care consumer champions, Healthwatch Dorset, along with Routes to Roots, recently held an event which gave homeless people in Poole the opportunity to see a dentist for a check-up and receive some useful advice and information. Routes to Roots, a homeless support group in Poole, spoke to Healthwatch Dorset several months ago after they tried to access urgent dental care for several of their clients.
Gabi Sanger-Stevens explains: “We support a number of homeless and vulnerably housed people who were refused urgent dental care because they weren’t registered with a dentist. We’re very grateful to Healthwatch Dorset for getting us a meeting with NHS England to share our concerns, which led to this successful event with the Toothbus. Healthwatch are also working with the local NHS to organise a flu clinic here at the homeless drop-in, which we hope will happen in the next few weeks.”
Healthwatch Dorset is an independent watchdog, working with local people to discover what’s really going on in health and care services across the county. This event was part of their ongoing project to help people get the right dental treatment, when they need it. Healthwatch Dorset has also been speaking to NHS 111, GP’s and dentists across the county to improve the information given out when people need urgent dental care.
The Toothbus Manager, Angie Naughton has said: “We’d like to thank Healthwatch Dorset & Routes to Roots for a great afternoon. The dentist saw 10 patients at the event and everyone received details of how to register with a local dentist for ongoing treatment. The Toothbus is available to everyone, it usually parks up in Poole High Street on Mondays and in Boscombe High Street on Fridays throughout November. So, if you haven’t seen a dentist in two years or more – please pop down and see us, there’s details on our website www.toothbus.co.uk”
You can contact Healthwatch Dorset by calling 0300 111 0102 (calls cost the same as 01 or 02 numbers). Write to us free at Freepost RTJR-RHUJ-XBLH Healthwatch Dorset, 896 Christchurch Road BH7 6DL www.healthwatchdorset.co.uk Twitter @HwatchDorset and Facebook or by visiting your local Citizen Advice Bureau.