The Mayor of Ipswich, Cllr Jane Riley, has paid a visit to the dental and oral health screening programme for rough sleepers in Ipswich. Rough sleepers and people at risk of becoming rough sleepers in Ipswich have been offered walk in oral health advice, oral cancer screening and dental examinations and treatment at the Mobile Dental Clinic. Suffolk Oral Health along with the CDS mobile dental clinic teamed up with the Homelessness Hub at the Chapman Centre to provide a week-long screening and treatment programme at the Centre.
The week of screening, advice and treatment took place during Oral Cancer Awareness Month. The screening was also supported by Help Our Homeless, a partnership of Ipswich agencies that help rough sleepers.
The Mayor said: “I was pleased to go along and find out more about something we don’t always think about when it comes to rough sleepers. But it is important work and I want to thank the team at the CDS mobile unit for trying to ensure that a particularly vulnerable group does not miss out on either screening or treatment.”
Rough sleepers have been targeted as they are more at risk of developing oral cancers due to lack of access to regular dental care and lifestyle factors which contribute to higher incidences of the disease.
Claire Davies, CDS Suffolk Oral Health Improvement Manager said “Rough sleepers face many, many challenges including difficulty accessing regular dental care, placing them at greater risk of oral cancers going undetected at an early stage. We aim to improve oral health for everyone and we felt it was especially important to support this vulnerable group to access dental treatment and screening.”
The Chapman Centre is a well-used homelessness hub for the Ipswich locality providing services for those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. It also offers support to those individuals that need more help than is offered by other mainstream services.