Close this search box.

Integrating the NHS dental service with the wider NHS

Our position

  • All patients known to be house or bed bound to be automatically referred to local domiciliary dental services for oral health care.
  • All patients with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and other dementias to be provided with an oral health assessment and oral health plan to help slow oral health deterioration.
  • All patients undergoing stroke rehabilitation or diagnosed with Parkinson’s to have oral health support to prevent avoidable oral health deterioration.
  • NHS dental practices need access to the same IT infrastructure as the rest of the NHS, funded by the NHS, if they are to be able to engage with the rest of the health service.
  • Improved awareness among clinical and social care colleagues about oral health and its role in managing conditions such as diabetes, and the damage to overall health caused by poor oral health.

What is the problem?

  • NHS dental services have been left on the periphery of the health service resulting in different patient attitudes, clinical attitudes and technology investment to the rest of the NHS.
  • This means that it is difficult for NHS dental services to play the role that dentists want in reducing health inequalities and improving health outcomes.
  • The oral health component of overall health is often forgotten about resulting in additional, avoidable problems that could be managed with sufficient joined up thinking.
  • The referral systems within health and social care are not joined up with dental services, making it harder for patients and carers to access dental care.
  • The current funding arrangements do not support improved care or integrated working.