The ICB’s Short Term Dental Plan is one-year plan for short term interventions to address urgent priorities and begin to improve patient access to dental services. It was approved by the ICB’s Primary Care Commissioning Committee (PCCC) on 12 September.
A copy of the plan is available here. It includes five key areas that the ICB can now work towards to help stabilise services and being to improve patient access to dental services.
These areas include:
- Building resilience in dental providers to help stabilise services, including a review of dental contract values and offering quality improvement and CQC support;
- Improving access to services. This includes working with practices on a short-term plan to improve children’s oral health prevention services, and we are also looking at schemes to improve access to dental services for those without a dentist.
We are developing a referral pathway so that individuals needing cardiac surgery and oncology treatment can receive care to stabilise their oral health needs prior to surgery or treatment, and an Urgent Treatment Service which will see urgent appointments provided by 20 dental providers across 27 locations in Norfolk and Waveney. This will be set up by the end of October 2023 and will be available for referral by NHS111 following clinical assessment of the individual’s need for an urgent appointment;
- A wide range of initiatives to support retaining, upskilling, and growing the dental workforce;
- Ensuring robust policies and procedures are in place to manage business as usual and regulatory processes across dentistry and wider primary care services; and
- Developing and retaining networks of clinical and professional dental representatives who can provide clinical expertise and technical knowledge to the ICB to support development of longer term strategies to improve services.
The aim of this Plan is to make quick investment decisions that can bring immediate benefits for patients and help to build resilience in dental service providers.
The ICB is continuing to work on its longer-term strategy for addressing wider issues facing NHS dentistry services, which it plans to publish in Spring 2024.