Agenda item

NHS Dentistry

Report of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care System updating the Panel on arrangements for NHS dentistry following a change in national legislation.


The Panel considered the report of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care System which updated the Panel on arrangements for NHS dentistry following a change in national legislation.


Amanda Kelly, Manager, Healthwatch Southampton; Jo York, Managing Director Health and Care Portsmouth and Integrated Care Board lead for dentistry, pharmacy and optometry (virtual); Dr Debbie Chase, Director of Public Health (virtual); and Councillor Fielker, Cabinet Member for Health, Adults and Leisure (virtual) were in attendance and, with the consent of the Chair, addressed the meeting.


The Panel discussed a number of points including:

·  The national epidemiology programme had stopped and information on need was collected locally from schools’ data and from health assessments.  However, during the pandemic those health assessments had to be paused.

·  Data was collected from dental health services which included children who were registered with a dentist but did not include children who were not registered with a dentist.

·  It was not known how many residents in Southampton are seeing a dentist at least once every two years as data was only available for NHS provision and was not available for private dental provision.

·  Being unable to register with a dentist or to find a dentist they can access was one of the top 5 reasons for people to contact Healthwatch.

·  Healthwatch maintained a list of dental services accepting NHS patients which changed frequently as places that were taking new patients filled up very quickly.

·  The national contract that was introduced in 2006 placed a limit on the level of NHS provision a dentist could deliver.

·  There had been an additional increase in dental health problems following the reduction of appointments that could be delivered in the pandemic due to infection control.

·  NHS England - South East region, have commissioned new contracts in the five areas of greatest need, based upon deprivation, to increase recurrent Units of Dental Activity (UDAs) in these areas. 

·  Reflecting need in Southampton, two new contracts of 21,000 Units of Dental Activity (UDA) had been awarded in the city for subsidized provision.  This will support a new dental service in the west of the city and the expansion of an existing dental service in the east of the city.

·  To deliver the additional 42,000 UDA it has been estimated would require 6 full-time dentists. This may present a challenge as the workforce strategy relied on recruitment of dentistry staff from overseas as the number of national NHS training places did not match the demand for dentistry services.

·  Specialist dental services provided by Southern NHS trust and by hospital providers included Orthodontics, and provision for people with learning difficulties and disabilities.  This detail had not been included in the report.

·  The ICB had developed a local strategy which focussed on 1001 days to get good oral health for children, support for older people and sharing information with place based operational groups to improve understanding of where to direct any new dentistry contracts.

·  Responsibility for the decision on adding fluoride to the water supply to improve oral health sits with the Chief Medical Officer, reporting to the Secretary of State.



1)  That, in the absence of the availability of comprehensive data, the Director of Public Health would provide a report that considered the opportunities to develop understanding of the oral health needs of the city.

2)  That the Panel would be provided with available data on registration with, and access to, an NHS dentist in Southampton.

3)  That, to provide context to the additional 42,000 Units of Dental Activity (UDA), the ICB would provide the Panel with the UDAs currently available in Southampton.

4)  That NHS Dentistry returns to the agenda when the ICB have formalised plans for dental provision across HIOW.




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