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Your South West Postgraduate Dental team

27 November 2023

The NHS England Workforce, Training and Education South West Postgraduate Dental team provides high quality dental education across the South West, covering Gloucestershire, Bristol, Somerset, Devon, Cornwall, Wiltshire and Dorset. The team provides postgraduate training programmes in Dental Foundation, Dental Core and Dental Specialty Training.

These programmes are delivered in collaboration with our educators across a range of settings, from General Dental Practices to NHS Trusts to Community Dental Services. In addition to postgraduate training programmes, the team delivers a wide range of continual professional development courses for dentists and dental care professionals across the South West.

If you are interested in getting involved in any of the below dental training opportunities, contact a colleague from the dental team for further information.

“Our South Speciality Trainee Group is going from strength to strength. My thanks go to our trainees who have taken on representative roles either for their region or specialty. Your voice is incredibly important to us in planning and delivering training.” Pamela Ellis, Associate Postgraduate Dental Dean for Specialty Training

Dental Foundation Training (DFT) is a one-year structured programme to support new dental graduates transitioning from dental school to working as independent dentists in a mentored salaried training post at dental practices.

This year, the region saw a surge in trainees due to expanded Joint Dental Foundation Core Training (JDFCT) posts, offering a unique two-year opportunity involving foundation, core and community placements.

The number of run-through posts has now been expanded to ensure regional foundation dentists are supported and included to carry out a linked core training post following their foundation training year. We also deliver an academic dental foundation training post at the Bristol Dental School.

The Joint Dental Foundation Core Training (JDFCT) pilot began in Torbay, Devon last September 2022. The pilot welcomed three rotations in General Dental Practice, Community Dental Service and Maxillofacial unit.

JDFCT is a longitudinal programme combining primary and secondary care. The primary (DFT) and secondary (DCT) care placements take place over two years, with rotations equally split between the placements. It combines one year of Dental Foundation Training (DFT) and one year of Dental Core Training (DCT). It’s sometimes known as DFTDCT or General Professional Training (GPT).

The trainees, from the pilot, are currently coming to the end of their second rotation after a successful clinical transition and professional development. After completing JDFCT, trainees can consider applying for Dental Core Training 2 (DCT2). Completing DCT2 can then lead to Dental Core Training 3 (DCT3) and even Specialty Training.

Over the last year, we have set up three new JDFCT schemes and started in Swindon, Taunton and Bristol this September 2022. Our future plans involve engaging with new potential via social media with a further evaluation to include additional two-year positions in Plymouth, Cornwall and Dorset.

Dental Core Training (DCT) usually follows on from the first year of Dental Foundation Training (DFT). It can last for three years, but trainees can also train for just one or two years. After completion of DCT2, trainees are eligible to apply to enter Specialty Training.

The DCT in the South West is led by Caroline Harvey, Associate Dean and Andrea Beech, Training Programme Director and supported by Benjamin Hewitt, Education Programme Officer. There are almost 60 DCT posts in the South West region, which includes eight Academic Clinical Fellowships DCT posts. Most of these posts are based in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, in addition to other dental specialities at the University of Bristol Dental Hospital.

This year, we have introduced numerous two-year JDFCT posts which include rotations through DFT, Community Dentistry and DCT. We also run a very varied and comprehensive Educational DCT Study Day Timetable each year, which consists of face-to-face and virtual study days. This year, all the DCTs in the region obtained a successful outcome at the annual review of competency progression in August 2023.

Dental Specialty Training is a series of different programmes across the 13 dental specialties which typically will take people from the end of their Core Training years through a process of three to five years of further refinement.

A total of 32 Dental Speciality trainees are now training in nine of the 13 dental specialties in the South West, following a productive year for recruitment.

The team has recently added two new Training Programme Directors (TPDs) in the last year. Camilla Boynton is now directing Special Care Dentistry, while Alistair Morton is directing Oral Surgery. The team are delighted to have their experience and expertise in helping to deliver high-quality training.  

At NHS England Workforce, Training and Education, we support flexibility in training and have developed an animation which outlines flexible training opportunities. If you have any questions about training flexibly, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Trainees who wish to access continuing professional development courses outside of their training can explore the South West hands-on courses, which are held in dental education facilities or tabletop courses in external venues. Additionally, webinars are usually held in the evening, covering a wide range of topics.

All these courses can be booked through the South West Dental Maxcourse website. If you have not registered before, please follow the new user login link on the right-hand side of the screen to set up an account.

If you are unsure whether you already have an account or would like to check your login details, or if you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us via email at katherine.sugg@nhs.net or call us at 01454 252678.