Earlier this year dentist Claire Newland and dental nurses Debbie Williams, Sharon Smith, Julie Sillence and Katie Rowe from our West Country Dental Care team voluntarily undertook and successfully completed Truro & Penwith College’s ‘Makaton for Professionals Foundation Workshop’.

Their motivation for learning Makaton was to improve the patient experience for autistic and hearing-impaired children who attend our clinics for dental treatment. Our team found the course interesting, interactive and informative, as well as a lot of fun!

They are already putting their training into practice when seeing patients who use Makaton to communicate. As Katie Rowe explains: “We now have a basic understanding of what these patients are saying and we’re able to reply, making them feel more comfortable and involved with their dental treatment.”

Julie Sillence says that she feels confident using Makaton to help her patients communicate and “tell us what we need to know” and Debbie Williams adds that the training will be “really helpful” when providing special care to patients with additional needs.

All our attendees have expressed an interest in taking their learning further and will be sharing their knowledge with clinical colleagues to help our teams communicate more effectively with any child attending our clinics.