A dental nurse from Truro has won the prestigious ‘‘Dental Nurse of the Year’ at a glittering awards ceremony at the NEC Hilton Metropole in Birmingham.
Heidi Wyatt of Smile Together, who has cared for an estimated 89,000 patients across Cornwall during her career, won the accolade at the Dental Awards 2017. She was singled out by the judges who explained: “Whilst Heidi’s Dental Nursing credentials are exceptional, she has gone above and beyond, with great work in both the practice and the wider community.”
Heidi, who works at Truro Health Park in the company’s West Country Dental Care service, entered the profession as a 17 year old on a Youth Training Scheme to help people overcome their fear of visiting the dentist.
Heidi has continually made considerable contributions to the profession including playing a lead role in establishing the need for oral health classes for Cornwall. Last year, Smile Together supported over 900 local children at tooth brushing clubs across the county.
Her work on that project fed into a major new ‘Brighter Smiles’ campaign launched by Smile Together to tackle avoidable tooth decay in children – a serious public health issue that costs the NHS in England over £130m a year.
In addition to her clinical work, Heidi was elected by her 80 plus colleagues to Smile Together’s Staff Council which sees her play a pivotal communication role in the staff-owned company which operates out of 13 centres across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
Upon winning the award, Heidi explained: “I am amazed to win for basically doing a job I love! I wouldn’t be able to win it without the incredible support I get from all of my colleagues so it is great to see the work we do recognised across the country.”
Paul Critchley, Managing Director, Smile Together commented: “We are all absolutely delighted to see such a popular member of our team win a national award.
She thoroughly deserves it for a career of putting patients at ease and campaigning for better oral health for all.”