Refresher Scheme

In May 2018 the National Health Service and Health Education England released a report ‘Advancing Dental Care: Education and Training Review’. The report acknowledged that although there are post-graduate foundation schemes available for DCPs , they are not consistently available and a foundation training scheme for Dental Therapists should be considered as a matter of urgency. It was also recognised that many DTs do not go on to fulfill their full scope of practice and their practice is mainly restricted to hygiene duties only. Taking these factors into consideration, HEE Thames Valley & Wessex launched a Dental Therapist Refresher course as a pilot scheme in March 2019.

Under the leadership of Gill Mather (Training Programme Director for Foundation Therapy), the scheme was primarily aimed at DT’s who met the following criteria:

  • Graduated in the UK as dual-qualified hygienists and therapists
  • Unsuccessful in securing positions which allowed them to implement and consolidate their restorative and therapist skills
  • Working solely as hygienists
  • Hand not previously completed dental therapy foundation training.

The Aims and Objections of the Refresher Pilot were:

  • Skills Consolidation
  • Build Confidence
  • Improve employability prospects

These were assessed by:

  • Completion of a work book
  • Communication with a mentor
  • Direct Observation of Procedures (DOP)
  • A Dental Evaluation of Performance Tool (ADEPT)
  • Case Based Discussions (CBD)

Following a formal application and selection process 12 participants were appointed to the Scheme although only 11 participated when it actually started. Of those 11 who took part, 5 have since gone on to secure a Therapy role, 4 are actively seeking a Therapy role and 2 decided they did not want to pursue a career in Therapy.

Trainee Experience

Gillian participated in the first pilot scheme run by HEE Thames Valley & Wessex. This article describes her experience of the Scheme. It went on to be published in Dental Therapy Update Summer 2019 Volume 12 Number 2

Article written by Gillian Daulby

Further information and Contacts

For further information and to find out about future schemes contact:

Sue O’Sullivan, Education Programme Officer:

Gill Mather, Training Programme Director:

Telephone: 01865 932065

Due to the current Covid-19 situation we are currently working from home until further notice