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Joy Callender

Head of Nursing and Quality, West Country Dental Care (WCDC)

There are various strands to my role. I have overall responsibility for the dental nursing team and have three clinical lead dental nurses who assist me with this, ensuring we support our dentists, therapists and patients’ care in the surgeries according to procedures, guidelines and compliance frameworks.  This includes leading on team communication, training and professional development and being accessible to help resolve any daily issues as they arise.

I am responsible for clinical equipment and facilities, including stock control, to ensure our clinical environments are fully functioning on a day to day basis. This includes servicing, housekeeping and clinical audits to ensure compliance in line with clinical standards, GDC, Care Quality Commission (CQC) and HSE guidelines. I am the CQC registered ‘responsible person’ for WCDC and the Caldicott Guardian for safeguarding the management of our patient records and data, and I sit on the Smile Together Clinical Quality Committee, developing, updating and implementing policies and procedures to operate safely and deliver excellent patient care. I am also our primary point of contact for patient plaudits, complaints, incident reporting and investigation and I lead the Brighter Smiles team delivering Cornwall’s oral health programme on behalf of Cornwall Council’s public health team and our generous campaign supporters.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of my role is leading projects that see us reaching out to ‘hard to reach’ or vulnerable people in our local community, such as we achieve for fishermen through our Smiles At Sea initiative, making a real difference to their oral health.

I began my dental nursing career in Birmingham at the age of 16 in general practice then the local authority.  I moved to Scotland Health Authority delivering oral health education in Ayrshire and Aaron, targeting all age groups, in particular nursing mothers, babies and children, an experience which has fed directly into shaping Brighter Smiles. In 1996 I moved to Cornwall and worked for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Primary Care Trust and subsequently Smile Together, progressing in that time from dental nurse to specialist dental nurse, team lead, dental nurse manager and now head of nursing and quality.  I love being part of the Smile Together team, working with people who are so passionate about patient care and exceeding patient expectations.

Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my family and grandchildren, but I also have a love of travelling and holidays in the sunshine.

The fun bit

Cats or dogs? DOGS

Surfing or sunbathing? SUNBATHING!

Manual or electric toothbrush? BOTH

Cornish cider or gin? GIN

Mini or VW Campervan? NEITHER BUT I LOVE MY LONG AWAITED NEW CAR!

Peace and quiet or loud and lively? PEACE AND QUIET AT HOME; LOUD AND LIVELY IF GOING OUT

Flossing or interdental brushing? INTERDENTAL BRUSHING

Full on roast or salad? ROAST although much prefer a good curry.

Football or rugby? NEITHER

Rock or classical? ROCK

Under cover or outside in the elements? UNDER COVER, UNLESS IT’S SUNNY!