Oral health plan pledged this year
Scottish Government promises to publish new vision of the future direction of NHS dental provision
A new Oral Health Improvement Plan will be published by the end of the year according to the Scottish Government.
Chief Dental Officer Margie Taylor announced the intention in her introduction to the government’s recently published document outlining the results of the Scotland’s Oral Health Plan consultation. She said: “The next step in addressing these challenges will be to produce an Oral Health Improvement Plan which will provide NHS dentistry with a new overarching approach. Prevention must be at the forefront of these plans, recognising that stakeholders – individuals, carers, parents, teachers at all levels, health and social care staff and the dental team – all need to contribute to good oral health outcomes.
“The Oral Health Improvement Plan will be about addressing new challenges so that patients and service providers have confidence there is strategic leadership and direction from the Scottish Government for the future of NHS dental provision.”
The consultation, which ran from September to December last year, received a total of 427 responses, 347 from individuals and 80 from organisations.
Of the individuals, 245 were dentists, 32 were dental care professionals and 45 were members of the public.
When the consultation closed, Robert Donald, chair of the Scottish Dental Practice Committee, argued that, despite having 33 proposals, it was “short on detail”. He supported the government’s focus on prevention and stated that: “We have an opportunity to deliver a real UK first with preventive pathways… However, it is unclear how further breakthroughs can be achieved without appropriate funding.”
The results of the consultation seemed to reflect this, with funding and remuneration being highlighted regularly in the comments section. However, while the results document only published a summary of the comments for each question and not the comments in full, answers from respondents who gave permission have been published online at consult.scotland.gov.uk/dentistry-division/oral-health-plan/