On May 5th, a meeting was held with the Borough leads for Ealing for NW London ICB. The meeting was attended by Dr. Vijay Taylor, Borough Medical Director for Ealing, Neha, Borough Director employed by Ealing, Christopher J, Assistant Director, and Noor Sacoor. The primary purpose of the meeting was to discuss the role of dental services within the local authority’s priorities and how they can work together.
During the meeting, we explained the structure and workings of the LDC and how dental services can fit within the agenda for health improvement in Ealing. We also highlighted the partnership between Ealing Healthwatch and Ealing Place Based Partnership, which looks at borough-based priorities.
The Ealing group has partnerships with various bodies, including GPs, community services, mental health, and leadership group meetings. It also looks at community pharmacies, population health, urgent, and emergency care pathways.
Dr Taylor felt that this was an excellent opportunity to build relationships with the dental services and discuss priorities as a group between GPs, dentists, ophthalmology, and pharmacy.
The group could provide input to the Children’s and Young Peoples Board regarding children’s oral health and GA admissions. Core 20+5 is a focus area for children, and dentistry could be an essential part of this.
We also explained the workings of the NHS contract and its constraints, highlighting the need for flexibility. He also mentioned that contract reform with consultation on local needs would help with the issues raised. At present, Core 20+5 sidelines dentistry, but oral health and obesity are connected, and dentists should be part of the health service, not a separate entity. There is also an unknown quantity of patients with diabetes, domiciliary care, etc., who need dental care.
Dr. Taylor was keen to have an integrated dental service and also mentioned triangulation of dental records. This would allow sharing information on a patient’s needs between all healthcare professions, enabling all to access all records pertaining to a particular patient.
In my opinion, this meeting was an excellent opportunity for the dental services to build relationships with other healthcare professions and discuss priorities as a group. The partnership between Ealing Healthwatch and Ealing Place Based Partnership is also an excellent initiative to look at borough-based priorities. The discussion on the NHS contract and the need for flexibility and contract reform is crucial.
Dentists should be part of the health service, and their role in oral health and obesity should not be sidelined. The triangulation of dental records is also an essential step towards better communication between healthcare professions, enabling better patient care.
Overall, this meeting was a positive step towards improving dental services in Ealing and should be continued in the future.