Time for new oral health aspirations in Scotland, says BDA
The Chair of the BDA’s Scottish Dental Practice Committee, Dr Robert Kinloch, today challenged the Scottish Government to set new aspirations for oral health and dental services and support dentists in achieving them. Much has been achieved since the publication of the Dental Action Plan in 2005, but this was not a time for resting on laurels, but instead for new challenges to be set and met, he warned. He also applauded successive administrations at Holyrood for the constructive, consistent approach they have taken in recent years, arguing that this approach is a major factor behind the progress that has been made.
Addressing the annual conference of Scottish Local Dental Committees (LDCs) in Stirling, Dr Kinloch commended the efforts of the Scottish Government since the publication of the Dental Action Plan, but set out a number of measures which could be taken to further shape and develop the way that patients are cared for. These included the extension of the Childsmile programme and a renewed commitment and action to improve the oral health of older people and disadvantaged groups.
Dr Kinloch also warned that there must be investment in the IT infrastructure across general dental practice to help provide the information about Scotland’s oral health necessary to underpin the development of strategies to fight inequalities.
Stressing the importance of prevention, he reminded delegates of the long-term cost-savings that can be achieved by investing in preventive approaches to care and urged the Scottish Government to demonstrate it recognises that in its spending decisions.
Dr Kinloch also stressed the need for action on the conclusions of the 2010 workforce report, including improved, more regular monitoring of Scotland’s dental workforce, and urged the Government to recognise the increasing expenses in dental practice and provide support to dentists as they confront this issue.