Community | 07 June, 2022

Lumino Mobile 1 Bus Gets an Upgrade

Our Lumino Mobile 1 Bus has been upgraded from a caravan to a brand new trailer, with two surgeries and a sterilisation room.

The renovations for Mobile 1 have been in the works since early 2021 when design discussions were started with Action Manufacturing in Hamilton. The usual build duration is three months, but due to COVID delays and supply chain issues, this one took a bit longer. The build started in December 2021 and was completed on 30 May 2022.

Each trailer starts with fabricating the steel chassis, adding the foam sandwich side and interior panels, running electrical, data and plumbing, then fitting vinyl flooring, and joinery benches in the steri room, surgeries, and waiting room.

Mobile 1 clinician, Melanie Darlington has been working for Mobile 1 for four years and previously worked for Mobile 3. Mel and Mobile 1’s other clinician Jo, put some early effort into the features the new trailer would have, and this combined with the success of our other Lumino trailer, Mobile 2, helped to tweak the two-surgery design.

The trailers are serviced and moved between schools by Fleet Services who are masters at getting them into tight parking spots at the schools, keeping WOF, COF, and electrical certificates up to date and checking the shore power is plugged in.

Lumino operates three mobile buses in Auckland which are contracted to Auckland and Waitemata DHBs to provide free dental services to under-18-year olds. Students are invited to enrol for the service at the beginning of Year 9. 

The three mobile units spend 1-7 weeks at each school, depending on school population size, and rotate through 8-10 schools each. Each unit covers the same group of schools, so students have continuity of care. Mobile 1 Bus mostly visits schools in Central Auckland, Central-West, and Central-East.

All of our Mobile Buses provide x-rays, check-ups, and a dental clean, for free along with fillings and baby teeth extractions. Our clinicians also give them advice on brushing, flossing, diet, and limiting sugar consumption. Multiple surface fillings, check-ups, and baby teeth extractions are funded by the DHBs, but single surface filling and fissure sealants aren't funded, and our team complete these treatments at their own expense. If a patient requires an RCT, crown, deep filling, or any other extensive or specialist treatment, they are then referred to our general Lumino practices or specialist practices.

Lumino Mobile Buses, Practice Manager Angelica Sanchez, who has been working for Mobile Buses for four years, says the teams work very hard to keep up with the number of patients and the days are fast-paced.

“Our dental assistants do an amazing job at organising and making sure there is always a patient waiting to be seen, as well at taking care of sterilisation throughout the day. Our clinicians are very independent, caring, and patient when a student is feeling nervous, they make these adolescents feel at ease during their check-ups & treatments and they provide excellent care for them.”

In a day, the average number of patients seen for their dental check-ups by each clinician is around 20. So, for our 2 chair mobiles (Mobile 1 and Mobile 2) this totals 40 patients per day! This number has been much lower over the past 2 years due to COVID, however.

“Every school is different, and they all have their own needs, so the ability to adapt and be flexible is amazing when it comes to our Mobile teams. From travelling to different schools around Auckland to changing the way we call for students, how we do enrolments, how we communicate with parents, our administration, and the information that is provided to us from each school, all must be tailored to suit each school we visit, and our teams do a great job.”