I met again with Vijay Tailor, Neha Unadkat and Christopher Jack from the Place Based Partnership in Ealing. The Place Based Partnership is the local arm of the Integrated Care Board. This meeting was an important opportunity to re-engage with these local stakeholders after our last meeting to bring dentistry into the proceedings both at the Ealing level and the wider north west London one. It is important to know what is happening locally with dental projects and how we can provide input. As Dr Tailor also sits on the Primary Care Board for north west London, he can help reinforce and represent our views from having first hand knowledge from the local LDC.
We were informed that Ealing Council is extremely concerned about children’s oral health and is running a project in Ealing Primary Schools with public health providing outreach, education in oral health, screening and then signposting to local dentists. This project is part of the plan of the Children and Young People‘s Board in Ealing. As the LDC Director for Ealing, I have now been invited to join this Board to provide further input.
We had a general discussion about access to dentistry, what was possible and where the levers of change are. With the move of dental commissioning to ICBs still relatively new, and with ICBs undergoing a restructure at the moment it is unlikely that there will be any major focus on dentistry until the next financial year. We will of course push for decisions about the next financial year to be made as early as possible so that the profession has as much notice.
I felt this meeting was very positive. Dr Tailor was keen to have our involvement and was willing to learn more about NHS dentistry and how it can fit in with the bigger picture . He was also willing to feedback information to the Primary Care Board on the importance of dental care.
A follow up meeting is taking place in January and I will update you then.