Healthwatch's report on the difficulty of finding an NHS dentist in Wisbech and Peterborough has just released its updated findings.
Sara Hurley, the chief dentist of England, has promised to act in her wake. She said, "There is clear and compelling evidence regarding not only the health benefits, but also the financial dividends of an investment in oral health.
"I will be launching a major new survey initiative on the dental profession – its front-line staff and providers – the results of which will inform the development of new dental performance and quality standards in the UK."
The January Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Healthwatch report was part of this initiative and, while highlighting the challenges of getting access to NHS dental care in our area, the overall findings resonate across the country.
Caroline Tyrrell-Jones, Program Manager for Communities, said at the Healthwatch Board meeting Wednesday: "We are delighted to hear that the report of the Chief Dental Officer approved our report, but the main findings are recommendations to improve access to NHS dental care. .
"As a direct result of our report, NHS England has increased funding for dentist access centers in our region, which has led to a general review of available services.
"In addition, we are pleased to see new initiatives to improve the oral health of children, particularly poor in Peterborough, where dental extractions in children under five have reached a record high in 2018.
"This is partly due to the high sugar diet that children have today, but many can be spent on poor parenting skills, by not teaching their children the importance of dental care. at a young age and because of the lack of dental nurses in schools. these days, something that would have been a commonplace in the past. "
Ms. Tyrrell-Jones added: "Our report has highlighted the fact that many people did not know that it was now impossible to officially register with an NHS dental office and this it's no longer the case since April 2006. "
However, some of the findings of the reports have directly led to recommendations from the NHS England, including the introduction of activity packs for dental care for children distributed to dentists and schools, so that parents and teachers can educate their children. brushing your teeth can be fun.
The report also recommends that NHS England and the NHS Dental Strategy Group urgently review the need for dental services in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, and respond to the most demanded areas.
Cambridgeshire County has the lowest percentage of five-year-old children without tooth decay in eastern England, with 87.1%, with Peterborough ranking second among the lowest rates of the region, with 67.6%.
Ms. Tyrrell-Jones said, "Healthwatch helps to ensure that this problem is solved, but especially among minority groups where education in oral and dental health is generally at a low ebb.
"All health visitors will now provide families with a toothbrushing kit at the 12-month check-up.
"Of course, one of the major issues we are looking at is the incentives to train or recruit more dentists and dental nurses, and the most important of all to keep them in our area.
"But the fact that East of England is the only region in the UK that does not have a specialized training facility in the dental field does not help." "
One of the findings of the Healthwatch study was that the dental information on the NHS website and most dental practices is outdated, unclear and often inaccurate.