Agenda item

Update on the work of the Oral Health Improvement Partnership Board

This report updates the Health and Wellbeing Board on the work of the Oral Health Improvement Partnership Board and seeks approval of the recommendations contained within.


The chair introduced the item and passed over to the director of public health to present the update. The director provided a verbal update referencing the Herefordshire Oral Health Improvement Action Plan (2020-2023) and the Herefordshire Oral health Needs Assessment


The director highlighted a wealth of positive activity relating to children, adults in care homes and early years staff giving out brushing packs to children.


The director cited one omission from the report as being the change in legislation contained in the Health and Care Act 2022 relating to water fluoridation arrangements being moved away from local authorities to the secretary of state and central government. The director considered water fluoridation to be one of the strongest evidence-based measures for improving oral health in Herefordshire and wanted to establish the most effective way of lobbying the government on this issue.


Christine Price (Healthwatch) enquired about commissioning being delegated down to the ICS for dental services, as to date there hadn’t been much traction at the oral health improvement board around commissioning.


The director for ICS development said the responsibility of commissioning services would become the responsibility of the ICB, but this wouldn’t happen until at least April 2023. At the moment work was underway to establish what will be inherited from the current commissioners at NHS England in the region. The integrated Care Board was currently carrying out proper due diligence to make sure it struck the right funding allocation, as well as understanding the baselines, key risks and challenges. The intention of making commissioning services more local was to ensure that they could be integrated with the wider work around improving population health and wellbeing. This would necessitate greater integration input with local partners.


The chair emphasised the importance of prevention and praised public health incentives being taking into schools such as ‘Brush, book and bed’.


The managing director of the Wye Valley NHS Trust enquired about what form the lobbying of government would take. The director of public health explained that this was something that would need to be looked into, but an understanding of the process was needed to get Herefordshire at or near the top of the list for fluoridation.


Stephen Brewster asked whether the voluntary sector was being used to enable cross-pollination and amplification of messaging in relation to delivering aspiration within reports - such as bringing the oral health advice and incentives to schools visited by the voluntary sector.


Christine Price (Chief Officer, Healthwatch Herefordshire) echoed the need to make greater use of the voluntary sector, in addition to statutory bodies, schools and health visitors in delivering health and wellbeing related messages to the community. There was a need to make all the messages count.


The director for ICS development explained that the Integrated Care Partnership was focused on working more closely and effectively with the partners in the voluntary sector.


The report recommendations were proposed, seconded and approved unanimously.





a)    The committee note the progress of the Oral Health Improvement Partnership Board; and

b) Adopt the recommendations set out the Oral Health Improvement Plan by their own organisations, and support the delivery of the plan at system level, wherever possible; and

c) Make a recommendation to the Oral Health Improvement Board to investigate the best way of lobbying the government on the issue of water fluoridation, with a view to encouraging positive interaction between the water firms and the government, which would lead to a positive adoption of best practice in relation to fluoridation of water in Herefordshire.


Supporting documents: