Dentistry seldom enjoys a good press. It either makes the headlines when patients can’t access it or, when very rarely in the scale of things, a dentist gets ‘done’ for some treatment gone wrong or a financial scam is exposed.
GDPUK therefore takes positive pleasure in reporting the endeavours of the team at Town Hall Dental in Brighouse, Yorkshire. A private practice based in the converted former Brighouse Town Hall building, it established a charity arm called the Town Hall Foundation to provide care and emergency dental treatment for society’s most vulnerable.
Gavin Rees, Head of Marketing and Partnership Development told GDPUK “For the past 3 years, the team at Town Hall Dental have been supporting other community organisations and charities within Yorkshire, offering free emergency treatment. We’ve offered support and free treatment to the homeless in Leeds and in around our own town of Brighouse, by giving dental treatment on the streets. Out dentists and dental nurses offer up their free time to support our charity’s campaigns”.
The charity is now fundraising to buy a fully equipped mobile dental surgery, but it will require £115,000 to get the mobile surgery on the road. The campaign has got of to a cracking start, however, thanks to a generous donation of £10,000 from the Wesleyan Foundation, the organisation behind payment provider Practice Plan. But there’s a long way to go.
“This year, due to lack of funding for the Mobile Dental Unit, we are currently in the process of purchasing a pop-up tent. This will allow us to carry out oral health screening, including oral cancer screening, to the public. Alongside a pop-up tent on the streets, we will attend community and sporting events. We are restricted with what treatments we can carry out inside a tent. We hope that once we have the funds (£115,000) to purchase and build our Mobile Dental Unit, it will allow us to carry out most general dental treatments that are available to patients in our practice” said Rees.
The Foundation has offered emergency treatment to the vulnerable and the elderly throughout the pandemic, most whom have been shielding. “Making house visits, opening the practice early to allow them the first appointment of the day, and opening the practice at weekends” has been part of the provision Mr Rees told GDPUK. Prior to the pandemic, the team had made visits to help refugees in Calais, an initiative it was able to continue in Folkestone this year.
Heading the Foundation are Dr Imran Rangzeb, CEO and Clinical Lead of the Town Hall Group and Rachel Dilley, COO of Town Hall Group and CEO of the Foundation. Speaking to the Halifax Courier Dr Rangzeb said “During the COVID-19 pandemic we had many people in desperate need of emergency treatment contacting us. However, due to self-isolation and national lockdowns, we were limited to what urgent dental treatment we could provide. By having our own Mobile Dental Unit we’d be able to respond swiftly and deliver emergency treatment rapidly and directly to those in need”.
There is no NHS funding for the Mobile Dental Unit and Mr Rees told GDPUK that the project was being funded entirely by the dentists at Town Hall Dental donating some of their earnings plus donations from supportive businesses and individuals.
The Town Hall Foundation is looking for high-value sponsors to help with its campaign. Anyone wishing to make contact can visit: https://townhallfoundation.co.uk/contact-us/
Donations can be made via the charity’s website page: https://townhallfoundation.co.uk/donate/