Decision details

Executive response to the spotlight review concerning dental health and childhood obesity

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To agree the executive response to the recommendations from the spotlight review into dental health and childhood obesity for children and families in Herefordshire.


A spotlight review focusing on dental health and childhood obesity was undertaken following concern about the levels of tooth decay and childhood obesity in Herefordshire reported in the Understanding Herefordshire Joint Strategic Needs Assessment 2017.


A broad range of local partner organisations attended the spotlight review in September 2018 and presented evidence and detail of work being undertaken to progress the priorities of dental health and childhood obesity. The spotlight task and finish group reviewed the evidence and identified recommendations, which were finalised and agreed with the children and young people’s scrutiny on 12 November 2018.

The spotlight review made 19 recommendations, of which nine directly relate to the executive. The recommendations cover on oral health: recruitment of dentists, dental access centres and rurality, early years dental access, sugary food advice, access to dentists and fluoridation; and on obesity: maternity services, obesity and mental health, planning restrictions on fast food restaurants, active travel measures, survey of parental food choices and cookery teaching in schools and open spaces and green infrastructure.

We recommend accepting seven recommendations, partially accepting one and rejecting one recommendation. Our rationale for rejecting and partially accepting recommendations is to ensure that our approach is based on evidence and uses the most appropriate methodologies. The actions proposed under each recommendation, including the partially accepted and rejected recommendations, are given in Appendix 1.




the response to the children and young people scrutiny committee’s recommendations regarding the spotlight review concerning dental health and childhood obesity in Herefordshire as attached at appendix 1 be agreed, subject to an amendment to the response to recommendation xii that the proposed feasibility study consider both benefits and disbenefits of fluoridation.

Alternative options considered:

1.    The executive could reject more or all of the recommendations of the spotlight report. This is not recommended as the issues of childhood obesity and dental health are substantial and require co-ordinated approach to begin to address. The spotlight report recommendations are based on a comprehensive review of data and discussion with a range of partners. Childhood obesity and oral health will have long-term consequences for the health and wellbeing of residents of Herefordshire, and consequently on Herefordshire Council, if they are not addressed now.

2.    The executive could fully accept those recommendations which we recommend be partially accepted or rejected. This is not recommended as it would result in the divergence of resource to activities which are not based on clinical evidence, not allow the development of the most robust methodology for surveys and potentially miss the opportunity to work holistically with schools to tackle obesity and dental health.


Wards Affected: (All Wards);

Contact: Lindsay MacHardy, Public health specialist Email: Tel: 01432 260554.

Publication date: 17/01/2019

Date of decision: 17/01/2019

Decided at meeting: 17/01/2019 - Cabinet

Effective from: 24/01/2019

Accompanying Documents: