New oral health plan launched

Scottish Government sets out strategy to reduce oral health inequalities and improve care provision

06 February, 2018 / infocus

The Scottish Government has revealed its new roadmap for the future of oral healthcare in Scotland. The new Oral Health Improvement Plan focuses on reducing oral health inequalities, prevention and addressing the needs of the ageing population.

Launching the publication, Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “Record numbers of Scots have access to NHS dentists, and as a nation our oral health is improving. But poor oral health is entirely preventable, and we need to ensure we do all we can to tackle it and break the link between oral health and deprivation.

“The Oral Health Improvement Plan will support the profession to spend more time on what they do best – providing excellent care for the patients who need it most. We will continue to work closely with them as the recommendations are implemented. It will ensure people get the personalised care they need, when and where they need it.

“We will reach out beyond dental practices to support communities to find innovative ways to support people to lead healthier lives – particularly in deprived areas or among older people.”

Professor Lorna Macpherson, Glasgow University Dental School, said: “The Oral Health Improvement Plan – with its focus on prevention, community initiatives and services for older people – is exactly the dental public health approach Scotland should be adopting.”

Valerie White, chair of the Scottish Consultants in Dental Public Health Group, said: “The publication of the Oral Health Action Plan for Scotland marks an important step in developing a preventive approach within NHS dental services. It also presents an opportunity to maximise the contribution that dental teams can make to the general health and wellbeing of the population
of Scotland.”

Among the recommendations is a new scheme aimed at treating the elderly in their own homes as well as a Community Challenge Fund of up to £500,000 to allow organisations to bid for funding to promote oral health in deprived communities.


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The Scottish Government has promised that the new population health improvement body, to be established by 2019, will recognise oral health as a priority*

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