The community dental services across the area have been working hard for the past nine months to make sure they are dementia friendly, and held an event to showcase their work.

The event, which took place earlier this week (6 July) at Bingley Arts Centre, highlighted work which has taken place by staff at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust’s dental teams, such as improving oral health among service users in the Trust’s dementia assessment and making sure staff are trained in dementia care.

Swarngit Shahid, Clinical Director for the Community Dental Service at the Care Trust said: “We are really proud of our staff and are glad we had this opportunity to promote their hard work.

“The teams have looked at every area of our service to see how we can make it more dementia friendly, this has included developing an oral health assessment template for use at our dementia assessment unit as well as putting together an oral-health package for all staff that work there to increase their knowledge of oral health. The dental clinical teams have also improved their own knowledge and learning around dementia by completing college courses which are now available for staff on their educational development programme.

“One of our early ambitions when setting out on becoming more dementia friendly was to make oral health and dental care one of the priorities for patients who have been newly diagnosed with dementia, which is something we are working towards achieving through working with the Dementia Action Alliance.”

Dental clinics across the area have been assessed and work will be starting to make them a calmer environment for the treatment of patients with dementia. Some key changes have already been made such as simplifying signage to make it less confusing and placing clocks in waiting rooms to reassure patients with dementia.

The event was attended by staff at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust as well as representatives from organisations such as Health Watch, Public Health England and Dementia Action Alliance.

Swarngit added: “This is just the start of our work and we are looking forward to getting involved in new and exciting projects in the future.”