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​Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise finalist in NHS Parliamentary Awards

24 November 2020


The BDA welcomes news that Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise (PDSE) has been recognised as the South West Regional Winner in the Health Equalities Award category of the NHS Parliamentary Awards 2020 for its successful Community Clinic, which supports vulnerable patients who are experiencing homelessness in Plymouth.


Robert Witton is CEO of PDSE and Director of Social Engagement and Community-based Dentistry in the University of Plymouth’s Peninsula Dental School and also Chairs the BDA’s Dental Public Health Committee.


Peninsula Dental Social EnterpriseFor successfully winning the regional category, PDSE have now been shortlisted for the national award which will be announced at a ceremony at the Palace of Westminster in July 2021.


The award, which can only be nominated through a Member of Parliament, recognises the work that the clinic, run by a small team of professionals from PDSE and local agencies and associations, is providing a number of patients who are currently experiencing homelessness within the city with urgent and routine dental care.


Luke Pollard MP who nominated PDSE for the award said: “I’m delighted that Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise’s good work is being recognised on a national stage. We have a real national success story in Plymouth, and I want us to tell the whole country that Plymouth not only has one of the best dental schools in the land but that it lives its values on access, innovation and equality.”


Robert Witton, CEO of PDSE and Director of Social Engagement and Community-based Dentistry in the University of Plymouth’s Peninsula Dental School said: “On behalf of PDSE I would like to thank Luke Pollard MP for nominating us for this award. We are absolutely committed to addressing oral health inequalities in local communities and helping those who need it most through the Community Clinic. I am grateful to all of our partners for making this initiative so successful.”


The Community Clinic began in January 2018 initially by treating people experiencing homelessness, expanding within the last year to include individuals using drug and alcohol services, as well as vulnerable women who are at risk of having multiple children removed from their care.


As a committed social enterprise PDSE currently provides this service as a pro bono contribution to the local community as part of its mission to ensure access to dental care for groups who may feel excluded from mainstream dentistry.


Robert Witton added: “Our ambition is to receive NHS Funding so we can expand our model across Devon and Cornwall to help more people.”


Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise is committed to improving dental health in the South West through treatment, education, community and training. Created by the University of Plymouth in 2013, PDSE runs the University’s four Dental Education Facilities throughout Devon and Cornwall and is an NHS training clinic for its dental profession students, including dentists, dental nurses and hygiene therapists, and postgraduate students on specialist courses such as restorative dentistry. The social enterprise is recognised in the 2020 NatWest SE100 Social Business Top 100 Index.