Agenda item

Dental Health (Oral Health Needs Assessment)


Ian Biggs, Tessa Fielding and Dr Lou Farbus (NHS England and Improvement) were present for this item and they referred to the Oral Health Needs Assessment within the agenda pack.  It was reported that:


        Oral health and access to dental services was a priority for NHS England and NHS Improvement;


        Access to dental services exacerbated by Covid-19;


        The commencement of a dental reform programme to identify priorities and  roadmap to ensure they commission the right services in the right areas;


        Collaboration with local authorities and communities to remove barriers and tackle other determinants of poor oral health;


        The top ten local authority areas with the highest levels of LSOA (lower level super output area) and with high IMD Scores were include Plymouth;


        In 2019, the overall proportion of five-year-old schoolchildren in Plymouth with tooth decay was 22.6%, which was below the national average of 23.4%;


        Twelve-year-old schoolchildren Plymouth was above England’s average levels for decayed teeth;


        The incidence of mouth cancer in Plymouth (19.1/100,000) was higher than the national average (14.6/100,000);


        Plymouth (55.6%) compared to England (52.9%) for access for children to NHS dentistry;


        For adult patients, Plymouth (45.1%) was below the average levels of access for the region per head of population and comparing to England (47.9%).


        Prioritising areas of greatest deprivation: West and centre of Plymouth (particularly St Budeaux, Devonport, St Peters and Waterfront Wards);


        There was a need for additional support of dental care services in line with the increasing numbers of older people in the area with the over 65s increasing by 21% in Devon by 2028;


        There was a need to support the recruitment and retention of dentist working in NHS Dentistry and practice feedback a priority;


        There was evidence that dentists were experiencing difficulties in meeting their contractual targets;


        Targeted interventions could include joint interventions with local authority partners such as:

?         Supervised toothbrushing programmes for nurseries and primary schools in areas where children are at high risk of poor oral health.

?         Provision of toothbrushes and toothpaste from health visitors.

          ?         Targeting of oral health programmes for key vulnerable groups in the community including the substance misusing population, the homeless, the traveller and gypsy community, older people and migrant communities.

          ?        Developing the capacity of the oral health improvement workforce and health, social care and educational professionals.

          ?         Re-orientating the dental practices towards prevention.

          ?        Multiagency working to develop and strengthen healthy eating policies in school and preschool settings.


Questions from Members related to the public being failed by the lack of access to dental care and collectively there was a need to use the claw back to ensure vital services were being delivered.


It was agreed:


1.        To write a cross party letter to ministers to highlight work undertaken by the city to identify the gaps and the proposals to bridge these gaps whilst ensuring that we represent all our residents.


2.        To invite NHS England to attend the Health and Wellbeing Board in September to report back to the Board following the publication of their proposals.

Supporting documents: