Anorak News | The truth about dentistry at the ‘gleaming’ Dover immigration removal centre

The truth about dentistry at the ‘gleaming’ Dover immigration removal centre

by | 9th, February 2015

dover centre


In “DEPORTATION SCNADAL”, the Sun focuses on dentistry at Dover immigration removal centre, aka The Citadel.

“£4m Dental Suite Built For Illegals”


Deportation scandal sees migrants leave with gleaming teeth

As the deported bare their new teeth, the Sun reports:

They are seen within six days at the surgery at Dover Immigration Removal Centre. But locals face a six-week wait at nearby public surgeries. The suite is run by five NHS dentists backed up by over-the-phone interpreters. It was built after detainees complained it was too much hassle being cuffed and escorted to off-site appointments…

Sharon McNeill, 46, waited weeks to have a tooth out. She said: “The way we cater to their needs is out of control.”

It’s not exacrtly out of control. In fact, control is pretty muh what the Dover centre does.


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The Justice Department says of the place:

The Western Heights on which the Centre is situated has been a fortified area since Roman times. The present buildings occupy the site of fortifications commenced in Napoleonic times to counter the threat of a French invasion. Dover is an English Heritage site.

The fortress was converted into a prison in 1952. In 1957 Dover become a Borstal. It continued to hold young offenders as a Borstal, YCC and YOI until April 2002, when it was re-designated as an Immigration Removal Centre operating under Detention Centre Rules 2001.

It is surounded by razor wire and a moat.

The purpose of Dover Immigration removal Centre shall be to provide for the secure but humane accommodation of detained persons in a relaxed regime with as much freedom of movement and association as possible, consistent with providing a safe and secure environment, and to encourage and assist detained persons to make the most productive use of their time, whilst respecting in particular their dignity and right to individual expression.

Is it a palace?

The Centre consists of five living units – Deal, Sandwich, Romney, Rye and Hastings – and one small separation unit named Hythe. Much of the accommodation comprises six bed dormitories although there are also single and double rooms. All living accommodation has access to discrete integral sanitation, power supply and televisions. All detainees may retain a mobile phone (not camera type) or borrow a mobile phone from the Centre. A range of recreational activities are provided in the association areas on each of the units and lock-up periods are kept to a minimum. All units except Hythe have quiet prayer rooms

The most recent HMP inpsector’s prison report says of the centre:

The environment was prison-like. There was an unnecessary amount of razor wire in many areas and many detainees were accommodated in prison cells. Many communal areas in residential units were grubby but association areas were reasonably well equipped. Some cells and dormitories were dirty, toilets were filthy and th ere was graffiti on the walls…
A recurring theme of our inspection was that Dover looked and felt like a prison and was too often run like one, even though it held low-risk detainees who were not serving sentences for criminal offences. Some aspects of physical security were excessive, and Dover is probably the last custodial facility in Britain that is still surrounded by a moat. Procedural security sometimes lacked proportionality. The reward scheme was inappropriate and worse, its application punitive…

And on the dentisty:

Kent Community Health NHS Trust provided two dental clinics weekly. Primary care nurses were trained in dental triage and waiting times were good. However, the dental contract stipulated that only detainees who had been at the centre for more than a year could receive the full range of NHS-equivalent dental treatment. Consequently, most detainees received only emergency dental treatment, and many we re seen repeatedly because the underlying cause was not being treated.
Is that many people?
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At msot 6 – SIX – detainees have had access to to “receive the full range of NHS-equivalent dental treatment”.
So. It is not out of control. And only someone depserate or nuts would head there for the dental work.
The large dental surgery met best-practice guidelines and included resuscitation equipment. The dental consultations we observed were good and all dental records were included in the core record. Detainees were given verbal advice on oral health, but there was no written information available in any language. All instruments were sterilised off site. Dental waste received professional disposal and all equipment was appropriately maintained.
Is that a “Scandal”
The Sun adds:
“Tools are locked up in case they stolen as weapons and patients can’t floss for fear they weave it into rope”
It’s not a prison. It only looks like one. The risk of a detainee using the ‘tools’ or floss to self-harm are not of the Sun’s concern. And could floss could be used as a rope ladder to climb out of that moat..?






Posted: 9th, February 2015 | In: Reviews Comment | TrackBack | Permalink