A Cabinet Minister has praised the work of the University of Plymouth and Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise (PDSE) CIC in offering free treatment to people currently experiencing homelessness in the city.
James Cleverly MP, Chairman of the Conservative Party and Minister Without Portfolio, made the comments during a visit to the Devonport Dental Education Facility on Thursday afternoon.
Mr Cleverly, along with Conservative Plymouth councillor and prospective parliamentary candidate Rebecca Smith, met staff and students from the University, its Peninsula Dental School and PDSE, and heard about community engagement work including the weekly community clinic.
The centre, which is run by the University and PDSE, is one of four across Devon and Cornwall where students from Peninsula Dental School treat patients under the supervision of qualified and experienced dental health professionals. Alongside its education role, PDSE focuses on improving oral health and access to dental care for those groups who may feel excluded from mainstream dentistry, including homeless people.
Feedback from community clinic patients has shown attendance has a transformative effect, not only in terms of pain relief and motivation to look after their teeth, but also feelings of confidence, self-esteem and self-worth.