Dewsbury Dental Centre, in Kirklees, West Yorkshire, is set to become the site for the first “pay what you feel” dentist scheme in England, according to the Huddersfield Daily Examiner.
In association with Dentaid, the first of planned fortnightly sessions will take place on December 3 from 6pm to 8pm where homeless people, migrants and low wage workers and vulnerable adults who are suffering pain because they have no access to dentistry will be able to see a dentist.
The people behind the pioneering initiative hope to extend it to a weekly programme, as the charity is working with anti-food poverty group The Real Junk Food Project Dewsbury.
17 local dentists and dental students will volunteer their time to work for the pilot project and on the night the Dewsbury Centre’s principal dental practitioner dentist, Nick O’Donovan, will be providing treatment on a sit and wait basis.
Paul Burr, a member of the project, commented: “Many of our customers either cannot get to any NHS dentist or are unable to register with one – therefore this service is vitally important to them. We see hungry people arriving at our cafés and sessions but it’s difficult to enjoy the food if they are suffering awful toothache which also affects their well-being and morale.”
Dentaid strategic director, Andy Evans, also commented: “Over the last 20 years we have worked in 70 countries but now we have identified a need in the UK among people who cannot access emergency NHS dentistry and are suffering pain.
“Therefore, to find a partner like The Real Junk Food Project Dewsbury gives us a fantastic opportunity to help people in this country in addition to our work overseas.”