Home   Bury St Edmunds   News   Article

Subscribe Now

Bury St Edmunds' homeless visited by Community Dental Services mobile at Bury Drop In





“It will be life changing.”

These are the words of one of the patients who attended a visiting a mobile dental service this week.

The Community Dental Services mobile surgery arrived at Bury Drop In, based in Trinity Methodist Church, Brentgovel Street, Bury St Edmunds, on Tuesday.

Kay Johnson, clinical team manager Health Outreach NHS and Jeremy Ransome, Health Outreach general nurse, Robert Green, chair of trustees, Bury Drop In, Sabine Dornbusch, general manager, Georgia Britton, Health Outreach NHS practitioner, and Amy Crothers, Community Dental Services dental officer). Picture: Mecha Morton
Kay Johnson, clinical team manager Health Outreach NHS and Jeremy Ransome, Health Outreach general nurse, Robert Green, chair of trustees, Bury Drop In, Sabine Dornbusch, general manager, Georgia Britton, Health Outreach NHS practitioner, and Amy Crothers, Community Dental Services dental officer). Picture: Mecha Morton

The visit, which cost £1,250, was paid for by the centre which supports the homeless, vulnerable and marginalised people.

“It’s heartbreaking,” said Sabine Dornbusch, general manager at the Drop In.

“People who visit us have dental problems such as abscesses, broken teeth, missing fillings, lost teeth; some in agonising pain. It is a constant problem and impossible for them to get help.

Amy Crothers, Community Dental Services dental officer
Amy Crothers, Community Dental Services dental officer

“We asked around for funding for the visiting dental service but nothing was immediately forthcoming, so we decided to pay for visit ourselves, out of pure necessity.”

It is the second time the mobile dental service has visited the Drop In. The unit first visited in December with eleven people treated for long-term dental problems.

“Even for the general public, it is impossible to get an NHS dentist,” added Sabine.

“People who use the Drop In face extra barriers in terms of access due to their circumstances, even to any of the other visiting emergency services. We are paying for a third visit in the next few months to help more people feel supported, loved.”

Amy Crothers, Community Dental Services dental officer
Amy Crothers, Community Dental Services dental officer

People attending were first assessed by the Health Outreach NHS Team, which visits the centre each week.

The same 11 people are being treated over the three visits, with emergency treatment also being carried out if there is opportunity.

Outreach team manager Kay Johnson said: “Homeless and vulnerable people can find it impossible to get help. Even if we refer to 111, or A&E, there are still barriers to access and being able to attend.

“The people put forward for treatment at the visiting service are so grateful. But it would need the van to visit at least once a month to come anywhere near to meeting the demand.

“It also helps with people’s mental health, confidence and is crucial.”

Bury Drop In, a registered charity, is appealing for public donations to help fund future sessions.

To donate, visit: www.burydropin.org/donate/

Having started the project, the centre also plans to approach larger funding organisations in the future.