CDS launches Essex DenCAS (Dental Clinical Assessment Service)

CDS, commissioned by Essex based social enterprise IC24, has launched Essex DenCAS – which offers dental expertise to the NHS 111 service.

Supporting the “Think NHS 111 First”* programme, DenCAS provides skilled trained dental nurses, able to triage callers experiencing dental issues. The aim of DenCAS is to support the integration between primary dental services and urgent dental care systems, to ensure those in need of urgent dental services receive the appropriate care in the right place at the right time.

Lorraine, CDS’s Regional Operations Director for Essex, is thrilled to have the pilot up and running. “Outside of the pilot scheme, callers to NHS 111 with dental issues will have spoken to a non-clinical call handler or GP. In speaking with non-dental trained professionals, patients may have had a poor patient experience and an unnecessary visit to their A&E. By launching DenCAS we provide dental expertise and knowledge to triage these callers and we are able to refer to out of hour dental providers if appropriate”.

Nicola, Out of Hours Manager who was instrumental in the go-live launch “I am excited to say we launched our pilot scheme on 16th January. We have a team of around 6 dental nurses who are currently trialing weekend shifts, 8am – 2pm with 2 nurses working at a time”.  Lorraine also praised the CDS IT team who have worked hard since Covid: “Thanks to the technological advances, our nurses are able to work these shifts remotely from home”.

The pilot scheme is commissioned for 6 months, during which time Nicola and her team will highlight any areas that need fine tuning, with the view to DenCAS becoming common place within the NHS 111 service.

Well done to the Essex team and all involved.

*The national Think NHS 111 First programme encourages members of the public with an urgent medical problem who think they need to visit their local A&E, or are not sure what to do, to call NHS 111 first. In doing so, patients could avoid a visit to A&E with potentially a lengthy wait in the waiting room, which is especially important whilst waiting area spaces are reduced due to COVID-19 and social distancing.