The South East London LDC held its Annual General Meeting on Monday 13 November, where it presented its first annual report and plans for 2024.
As outlined at the AGM and the annual report the restructure of the LDC involved a full reassessment of how the LDC would pursue its purpose of representation at the local level. With this in mind the Board presented the Vision and Mission of the LDC, as outlined in previous articles, as:
“For NHS dentistry to be integrated with the rest of the health and social care system to enable dentists and dental care professionals to maximise their skills for the benefit of their Community.”
As explained at the AGM this Vision seeks to ensure the future of NHS primary care dental services in south east London by making pathways within the whole NHS clearer and more effective. By showing how useful dentistry is to reducing health inequalities, how our care improves health outcomes, we will encourage increased investment and better ways of working. We aim to achieve this Vision through our Mission:
“To provide effective support for the dental profession at the local level to ensure that local partners are informed and able to utilise systems to enable dentists to provide the best care for the community.”
We continue to engage with our local stakeholders, such as the local care partnerships, local authorities and local healthwatch to ensure that there is clarity around what dental services operate in each area. We have spoken at several Council Health Overview Scrutiny Committees and met with the local Healthwatch to represent the profession and are part of the South East London Integrated Care Board Oral Health Group. Additionally we hosted an event for all members with Miranda Steeples, President of BSDHT, and Kelly Nizzer, Regional Commissioning Manager, in October. We hope to host more meetings in 2024 for members so you can hear from local partners, national updates and from us about what we are doing on your behalf.
2024 looks to be an exciting year, with the Integrated Care Boards hopefully having more confidence in dental commissioning, the London Mayoral election and the General Election. There is a real opportunity for us to get the voice of dentistry heard, to make our position clear: that NHS dentistry should be one of the great success stories of the NHS, that with the right incentives dentists can deliver a significant impact to reducing health inequalities and improving health outcomes.
This is why our plans for 2024 involve a lot of political facing activities and continuing to work with local partners on alternative models of care to show what dentistry can achieve when properly supported.