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. I support our dentists, therapists, nurses and technicians in delivering patient care in the surgeries 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. This is a critical role in support of our Smile Together Board, Governance Committee and Clinical Leadership and Operations Team priorities, including our Patient Experience Framework, which sees me developing, updating and implementing policies and procedures to operate safely and deliver excellent patient care.

I undertake regular clinical audits to ensure compliance in line with clinical standards, GDC, Care Quality Commission (CQC) and HSE guidelines, and am the CQC registered ‘responsible person’ for Smile Together. I am also our Caldicott Guardian and primary point of contact for patient plaudits, complaints, incident reporting and investigation.

On behalf of the Smile Together team, I lead the ‘Dental First Steps’ and ‘Every Two-Year-Old Oral Health’ project, being launched and delivered in partnership with Cornwall Council’s Public Health team, NHS England, local Health Visitors and Go Cornwall Bus.

Until February 2023, I led a number of special projects such as Brighter Smiles, Cornwall’s oral health programme, on behalf of Cornwall Council and our generous campaign supporters and our annual Smiles at Sea initiative where, again working in partnership, we take a mobile dental unit to harboursides across Cornwall and Brixham to treat fishermen and their dependent family members who rarely get to visit a dentist due to the demands of their work. These projects (and many more) are now managed by the Smile Together Outreach Team, which sees us making a genuine difference to the oral health of even more local communities by reaching out to ‘hard to reach’ or vulnerable people.

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 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, head of nursing and quality and now quality assurance and compliance.  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?

Surfing or sunbathing?

Manual or electric toothbrush?

Cornish cider or gin?

Mini or VW Campervan?

Peace and quiet or loud and lively?

Flossing or interdental brushing?

Full on roast or salad?

Football or rugby?

Rock or classical?

Under cover or outside in the elements?





Neither but I love my long awaited new car!

Peace and quiet at home; loud and lively if going out

Interdental brushing

Roast, although much prefer a good curry



Under cover, unless it’s sunny!

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