PRIMARY CARE DENTISTRY UPDATE NHS CHESHIRE AND MERSEYSIDE INTEGRATED CARE BOARD
Decision Maker: Adult Social Care and Public Health Committee
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
The Head of Primary Care for NHS Cheshire and Merseyside presented the report of the NHS Cheshire and Merseyside Integrated Care Board (ICB) which provided an update on the commissioning of primary care dental services, and gave details of the Dental Improvement Plan 2023/25 which was to ensure that access is improved for both routine, urgent, and dental care for our most vulnerable populations and communities impacted by the COVID pandemic. The aims of the Plan included developing access sessions for new patients across 60 practices in the ICB and
add an additional 30,000 appointments across Cheshire and Merseyside. It was noted that:
· lack of access to dental services was a national issue primarily connected with an NHS contract that was considered no longer fit for purpose.
· patients had a general misunderstanding that they registered with a dentist in the same way as registering with a GP, but the dental contract allows for their removal.
· Oral health had deteriorated since the Covid-19 pandemic, especially in vulnerable patients, and dealing with those takes longer which exacerbates the time pressures.
· The NHS contract was not attractive to the workforce so recruitment and retention was difficult although this was covered in the workforce plans of the NHS and ICB.
· Urgent Dental Care Centres within existing practices had been set up during the pandemic and had continued since.
Members questioned the approaches and about reaching particular groups such as schoolchildren, care home residents and children in care. They also requested additional information for particular issues.
Resolved - That the report be noted.
Report author: Mike Jones
Publication date: 08/11/2023
Date of decision: 17/10/2023
Decided at meeting: 17/10/2023 - Adult Social Care and Public Health Committee