Guide to commissioning of paediatric dentistry services released

Guide to commissioning of paediatric dentistry services released

A key milestone in improving the oral health of children and young people in England has been reached with the publication of  “Commissioning Guide for Dental Specialties – Paediatric Dentistry.” The guide outlines how paediatric dental services will be commissioned at local level and outlines the need to develop Managed Clinical Networks as part of this process.

Claire Stevens, President  of the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry (BSPD), said she was delighted that Society members had been involved in developing the guide which represents a key milestone. Claire, a paediatric dental consultant, chairs the Managed Clinical Network (MCN) for Paediatric Dentistry in the Greater Manchester area where she works.

Sge said: “I now have a document to form the basis of our discussions. For too long, children have received a raw deal and this guide goes some way to correct this.  It is unashamedly aspirational.  If we aim for mediocre then we have no chance of achieving excellence.  I am fired up to build on this momentum and to work with all stakeholders to improve children’s oral health.”

The paediatric dentistry guide is designed to ensure that every child who needs specialist input can access it wherever they are in England and experience consistently good care. A key recommendation welcomed by BSPD is the need for an increase in the number of paediatric specialists to meet the needs of England’s children. In January 2016 there were only 171 specialists in paediatric dentistry on the GDC register in England and some regions had no paediatric dentists at all.

Stephen Fayle, Chair of the Commissioning Group and a paediatric dental consultant in Leeds, stressed the need for adequate support for all MCN Chairs.  “The Consultants asked to take on the role of MCN Chair have a huge weight on their shoulders.  They are the ultimate ‘test pilots.’  They have a challenging job on their hands.”

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