Charity pressure leads to national service review

PDS looks into provision for children with additional support needs

19 November, 2015 / infocus

The Public Dental Service in Scotland has been asked to carry out an immediate review of its service provision for children with additional support needs as a result of pressure from a children’s charity.

Action for Sick Children Scotland (ASCS), whose Special Smiles project is featured on page 24 of this issue, has revealed a lack of data around children with additional support needs (ASNs) in educational and clinical settings.

Mary Flora Ferris, dental project officer with ASCS, said that the evidence gathered to date makes it impossible to determine the dental profile of many children with ASNs. She also points out that the National Dental Inspection Programme (NDIP) date doesn’t capture specific information on children with ASNs.

Public Health Minister Maureen Watt said: “Childsmile support workers work closely with health visitors to identify and support families with additional support needs from birth.

“Childsmile is dramatically improving children’s dental health and has been shown to prevent children having to have fillings and extractions. Families of children with additional support needs should have access to enhanced support, tailored advice and information to improve and maintain the child’s oral health. This includes toothbrushing instruction and fluoride varnish application as part of the Childsmile Programme and the National Dental Inspection Programme.

“The clinical leads of the Public Dental Services across Scotland have been asked to undertake a review of service provision to children with additional support needs in education settings.”

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Scottish Dental magazine