The Dental Outreach Training Programme places all Sheffield students in two or three clinical work placements towards the end of their training. These placements are mostly in and around Sheffield but also Chesterfield, Doncaster, Rotherham, Barnsley and Hemsworth near Pontefract. About half the placements are in general dental practice and the remainder, in the salaried dental services, are in dental access centres or community dental clinics.
Students usually attend in groups of three to five and spend a total of about 20 weeks working full time as members of the dental teams in these primary care settings.
The aims of the outreach programme are to:
- encourage students to appreciate the ethical responsibility of dental professionals for the oral health of the whole community
- increase student understanding of the principles and particularly the practice of public health dentistry
- develop students’ appreciation of the responsibilities and requirements of the practice environment
- consolidate students’ awareness and develop their skills in the provision of comprehensive care for a range of patient groups.
The Outreach Training programme has attracted interest both nationally and internationally. President of the General Dental Council, Hew Mathewson commented when visiting one of our outreach placements "Outreach is an exciting and demanding development for dental schools and the University of Sheffield is at the forefront of this." As he left, Hew commented that everything about the visit had far surpassed his expectations.
The Chief Dental Officer, Barry Cockroft, after opening one of the outreach centres wrote of the "high-quality facilities offering excellent equipment, where undergraduate dental students can train in an environment substantially different to that in a traditional dental school" and the "positive working relationship between the dental schools, the PCTs and the dental providers of the service." We have also hosted fact-finding visits from overseas universities besides parties from UK dental schools and the Cuban embassy.
For more information on the Outreach Programme contact the Outreach Training Programme Office, The School of Clinical Dentistry, Claremont Crescent, Sheffield, S10 2TA