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Pathway for adults at risk of harm added to Was Not Brought toolkit

Our 'Was Not Brought' (WNB) toolkit has been further extended to help dental teams safeguard adults at risk of harm (AAR) if they miss dental appointments.

The purple pathway (WNB-ARR) is now available to download. This development extends the scope of our existing safeguarding toolkit and joins the green, pink and blue pathways for children and young people who miss appointments. The purple addition follows the familiar style of the existing pathways to promote a patient centred approach to the safeguarding of adults at risk of harm and encourages early intervention and communication with relevant professionals.

We have worked with James Bird, NIHR In-Practice Fellow and Senior Dental Officer and Jenny Harris, Consultant in Paediatric Dentistry to update the Implementation Guide. The downloadable flowchart is accompanied by template letters and template notes to make implementation of the pathway straightforward.

The original innovative green children’s and young people pathway (WNB-CYP) was developed and evaluated in the Community Dental Service in Sheffield by Jen Kirby and Jenny Harris, Consultants in Paediatric Dentistry at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. They later added pathways for children looked after or who are the subject of a child protection plan (pink) and for orthodontic patients (blue).

These pathways, along with an accompanying implementation guide, template letters and notes provide an easy-to-follow way of responding consistently when children and adults at risk are not brought to appointments. This helps promote timely reappointment as well as giving clarity on when to consider sharing information with other health and social care professionals.

“Many vulnerable adults are unable to come to dental appointments without support,” says Giten Dabhi, Chair of the England Community Dental Services Committee.

“We are putting a vital framework in place to provide the right support and safeguarding where the term ‘did not attend’ is frankly inappropriate.

“For both children and adults, we’ve set out to ensure a safety net is in place, so no patients fall through the cracks.”

Was not brought safeguarding resources

Describing vulnerable patients as ‘Was not brought’ (WNB) instead of ‘Did not attend’ (DNA) encourages us to think about the situation from their perspective and potentially take action to safeguard them.