The Auckland Regional Dental Services (ARDS):
- provides a Monday to Friday dental service across the Auckland metro area
- treats approximately 300,000 children per year, aged between 0-12 years old
- has over 40 "hub" clinics and mobile vans in the community
- employees more than 300 staff
What are we trying to achieve?
The ARDS team was keen to improve access to their service to meet the needs of the children and whānau of our regional community. A Saturday clinic was identified as a way of improving access. To test the effectiveness of a Saturday clinic, an eight week trial/pilot was undertaken.
What have we done?
The ARDS team chose a high-needs community to undertake their eight week pilot so that the community could benefit from this pilot. High-needs community areas often have an increased rate of not attending ARDS appointments for various reasons.
Saturday Clinic Pilot
- The Browns Road clinic in Manukau was selected
- Two dental chairs were available:
- one for booked appointments
- one for walk-in appointments
- Five staff were available for each Saturday clinic
- two Dental Therapists
- two Dental Assistants
- one Patient Care Assistant
Using the following measures, the ARDS team collated and analysed information on a weekly basis to inform and improve upon the pilot and service provided:
- Number of appointments attended
- Number of "did not attends" (DNA) appointments
- Number of children from the Well Child Clinic
- Survey feedback from families/whānau of children
- Feedback via email from staff and Team Leaders
What did we find?
During the eight week pilot a total of 257 children attended the Saturday clinic at Browns Bay Road in Manukau.
Did we make a difference?
Where to from here?
The outcome of this pilot have been very positive. ARDS is continuing the Saturday clinics at Browns Road and is looking to extend this Saturday service to other locations.