Issue - meetings

Commissioning of Dental Services

Meeting: 12/01/2022 - Health and Wellbeing Board (Item 5)

5 Commissioning of Dental Services pdf icon PDF 1 MB

NHS England and NHS Improvement will provide an update on the position of dental services.

Additional documents:


Nuala Woodman with support from Alison Lee and Claire Walters of NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE/I) provided an update on the position of dental services in Warwickshire. This comprised a written briefing as background and a presentation with high level information. The briefing included the following sections:


  • Introduction
  • Dental charges
  • Impact of the pandemic
  • Restoration of services and recovery initiatives
  • Vulnerable groups
  • Oral health and inequalities
  • Children’s access
  • Out of hospital provision (including urgent dental care, domiciliary care, dentures, secondary and community care)
  • Staffing issues (including collaborative working with local dentists, PPE / Fit testing and Covid & outbreaks in dental settings)
  • Opportunities for innovation including digital


The presentation highlighted key areas from the circulated briefing. It also updated with more recent data on general dental activity in the midlands and the local position compared to normal levels of service. Due to the restricted services during the pandemic, a year’s worth of activity had been lost access over the last 20 months.


Questions and comments were submitted, with responses provided as indicated:


  • Councillor Roodhouse advised that this item was discussed at HWW board. The British Dental Association (BDA) and others were critical of the unrealistic targets imposed given the challenges around cleaning and changing the air between patients, making those targets unachievable. HWW was receiving a lot of enquiries about access to NHS dentists. It was understood that around one in ten dentists were likely to cease providing NHS services this year. HWW would write formally to the Chair of this Board to set out its concerns and was considering writing to NHSE too. There was a perception that the safety requirements weren’t recognised by central government in setting the service targets.
  • The Chair acknowledged the points raised, adding that private patients were still able to receive six-monthly check-ups and routine treatments where NHS patients were not.
  • Councillor Matecki asked if the 85% of the normal service level was the optimum, given the cleaning requirements. Moving forwards, he asked if there would be a lessons learnt at some point and whether the aim was to achieve previous service levels fully. Nuala Woodman confirmed that this was the safe minimum level. There were exception arrangements and each practice was considered individually, with monitoring of how they were managing. Support was being provided to practices for example where there had been a Covid outbreak amongst staff. The aim was to return to the full provision by April 2022. However, there were unknowns about the pandemic.
  • Nigel Minns asked if the treatment of private patients at the expense of NHS patients was the issue of registration and not having the same obligation as a GP doctor. He asked about the treatment backlog for dentistry and how long the measures proposed would take to address the backlog. Nuala Woodman confirmed there was data for secondary care and further community dental service waiting times. This was not about money, but having staff and available premises. The solutions included longer working hours and weekend appointments. However,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5