More residents in North East London will have access to free dental care, thanks to a collaboration between Barts Health NHS Trust, Queen Mary University of London and Community Health Partnerships (CHP).

A £3.2m investment, the Kenworthy Road Dental Clinic, was opened today by England’s chief dental officer to provide free services in Hackney and nearby areas – a place where dental decay is prevalent and access to care is in high demand.

Zahra Shehabi, project lead/clinical sustainability fellow at Barts Health NHS Trust, said, “We’ve embedded sustainable and modern design throughout the development of this clinic and will also be sourcing sustainable materials to ensure the facility is as green as possible.”

The state-of-the-art facility will provide a fit-for-purpose training ground for 300 university students each year. The students, supported by qualified dentists, will provide around 7,000 appointments per year for the local community.

Christopher Tredwin, dean and director of the institute of dentistry at Queen Mary University of London, said, “This new clinic will train the UK’s next generation of dentists. Thanks to the high-tech equipment and opportunity for students to treat patients, this clinic will ensure undergraduates have the best opportunities to meet their clinical requirements while providing dental care to the community.”

Giulia Pintaritsch, a dental student at Queen Mary University London, said, “As a student, working on clinical placements has improved my practical skills and confidence more than anything else during my learning. Any opportunity to increase that exposure to patients is extremely important! I’m glad to see Queen Mary’s Institute of Dentistry and Barts Health working together to open this new clinic, bringing students even more clinical exposure to support our training.”

The clinic has already proved a success with over 1,000 patients registered. Due to this overwhelming response, new registrations are now closed until early Spring 2024.

The public’s oral health has been impacted significantly by the covid pandemic and rising cost of living, which has increased the need for dental care across the country but particularly in north east London.

Wendy Farrington‑Chadd, chief executive officer from Community Health Partnerships said, “Free dental care has never been more important in times where the NHS is facing huge pressures and capital funding is constrained. CHP’s £3.2m capital investment will allow the delivery of additional dental appointments, closer to home, whilst enabling students from Queen Mary’s Institute of Dentistry to thrive in a modern and fit for purpose healthcare facility.”