Suffolk dentists talk the language of Makaton

Members of the CDS team who are trained in Makaton
From left to right, Sherri Tredray, Amy Fisher,

Members of the CDS team who are trained in Makaton From left to right, Sherri Tredray, Amy Fisher, Louise Brooks and Rachel Griffiths Photo, Claire Davies, CDS - Credit: CDS

Community dentists in Suffolk have become the first in the country to be recognised as Makaton friendly by the Makaton charity.

The Makaton Friendly scheme is designed to recognise organisations that use Makaton and help people that use Makaton to feel welcome and enable them to access services.

A team of three dental nurses and one dentist from Community Dental Services have been learning Makaton to help communication with patients who have communication or learning difficulties.

Many of CDS’s patients have learning difficulties and alternative methods of communication helps them understand their treatment andcan ease anxiety. It enables clinical teams to explain procedures more effectively and gain patient consent. The team will now train colleagues across the organisation in Makaton.

Amy Schiller, CDS CiC operations director for Suffolk said: “Many of our patients have additional needs and it is important that we are always thinking about how we can make visiting the dentist easier for them. In this instance, it was our own employees who were keen to make a difference and took the initiative to learn to talk Makaton.”

Sarah Drew, Makaton Friendly co-ordinator said: “We are thrilled to award Community Dental Services Suffolk with Makaton Friendly status in recognition of enabling their employees to learn Makaton to support their patients. The Makaton Friendly scheme, which recognises establishments of all kinds where Makaton users will feel comfortable, is going from strength to strength. We are working with schools, emergency services, attractions, retail and hospitality outlets including many well-known brands.”