Smile Together Compliance Lead Joy Callender

Joy Callender

Quality Assurance and Compliance Lead

There are various strands to my role but overall I am responsible for ensuring quality and compliance right across our business, including West Country Dental Care, Brighter Dental and our dental laboratory DPS. I support our dentists, therapists, nurses and technicians in delivering patient care in the surgeries and laboratory environment according to procedures, guidelines and compliance frameworks.  This includes leading on related team communication, peer review, training and professional development and being accessible to help resolve daily issues as they arise.

I undertake regular 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 West Country Dental Care and Smile Together’s Caldicott Guardian for safeguarding the management of our patient records and data. 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.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of my role is leading a number of special projects that see us making a genuine difference to the oral health of local communities by reaching out to ‘hard to reach’ or vulnerable people. For example, I head up the Brighter Smiles team in delivering Cornwall’s oral health programme on behalf of Cornwall Council’s public health team and our generous campaign supporters – together we engage with around 4000 children each year, working with primary schools, nurseries and family hubs across the county setting up toothbrushing clubs, applying fluoride varnishing and delivering oral health education to help reverse tooth decay.

I manage our Smiles at Sea project each year where, again working in partnership, we take a mobile dental unit to harboursides across Cornwall and Devon to treat fishermen and their dependent family members who rarely get to visit a dentist due to the demands of their work.

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


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!