Staff and teams from across Cwm Taf Morgannwg health board are stepping away from their usual roles to support colleagues in other areas during the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the teams adapting to new work is the Designed to Smile team. Made up of Dental Health Educators, Dental Nurses and Dental Health Support Workers, the team usually work in schools and pre-schools delivering and supporting the supervised tooth brushing programme and the Flouride Varnish programme, as well as delivering Gwen am Byth, the mouth-care training programme to care homes. However, since the COVID 19 pandemic, they’ve have had to adapt and turn their hand to new roles.
With schools closed the team have stepped in supporting colleagues in a number of areas, including helping to run induction courses for new Health Care Support Workers, deliveries of donations to hospitals, pharmacy deliveries and working at the COVID testing centres across the Cwm Taf Morgannwg area.
They’re also continuing with their remit of dental education by delivering dental home-packs to school hubs and foodbanks across CTM and have delivered over 1400 toothbrush/toothpaste packs across hospital sites.
Rhianwen Williams, from Tonyrefail is one member of the team. She usually works as a Dental Health Educator but has stepped in to help at the health boards testing centre in Abercynon since her usual work has been suspended.
Rhianwen said: “What I’m doing here is completely different. I thought I’d be out of my depth but the support and training from the team has been outstanding. It’s all completely new, everything was set up so quickly and I’ve had to come in running but it’s given me a sense of purpose and I feel like I’m helping and doing something to support my colleagues.”
Rebecca Lloyd, Lead for Oral Health and Mobile Dental Services for the Designed to Smile team said it’s essential that everyone works together at this time: “It’s so important that we all work as a team to support each other during this challenging and ever changing time. The team are working really hard to support their colleagues and continue to provide important services within the health board and to our wider communities.”