The Steele Review
In December the Department of Health announced the appointment of an independent group to review NHS dentistry. The review group has been asked to report on increasing access across the country, improving quality of services and suggesting how Government can work towards reducing oral health inequalities. The review team is being led by Professor Jimmy Steele, Chair in Oral Health Services Research at the School of Dental Sciences in Newcastle. It also includes Janet Clarke, Clinical Director of Salaried Dental Services for Heart of Birmingham Teaching PCT; Eric Rooney, Consultant in Dental Public Health to Cumbria PCT; and Tom Wilson, Director of Contracts for Milton Keynes PCT.
In addition to reporting on access and service quality, the review group is also looking at some of the areas of concern highlighted by the Health Select Committee report into dental services, published in June. These include producing recommendations on the development of a needs based funding formula; identifying necessary developments in workforce planning, training and regulation; and considering how Government should respond to the recommendations to introduce more treatment bands. The Steele group will publish the results of the review in the Spring, 2009.
The BDA has welcomed the initiative and met with Professor Steele to discuss the issues raised in the review. Professor Steele also met with the GDPC in January to give further details of the review and request the input of the Committee. The BDA is currently in the process of producing a detailed submission to the Review Group. In addition, the BDA’s Independent Local Commissioning Working Group will be meeting with Professor Steele to discuss the complementary approaches and remits of the two groups.