Client: London Borough of Newham
Outcome: A clear oral health plan that provided costed delivery options for the improvement and promotion of dental health in young people and vulnerable groups
The London Borough of Newham Health and Well Being Strategic Reference Group highlighted patterns in oral health in Newham in 2016 which showed poor child dental health at 5 years old. This included high levels of tooth decay and hospital admissions for dental extractions in children with low levels of access to dental care. In response to this a child Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) was produced for Newham and a review of the statutory responsibility of oral health in Newham was commissioned.
The project brief was to produce an evidence-based plan of action for the delivery of oral health promotion in the borough. This was especially focused on young people and vulnerable groups. The project needed to provide costed options and including strengths and weakness of all delivery options aswell as developing a detailed service specification for dental services.
How the work was delivered
Advice was sought from the Department of Public Health and Public Health England to shape the vision and objectives of the action plan. The scoping document was agreed with the Public Health Lead in Newham and a stakeholder group was formed.
Data identification and collection
The current levels and formats of delivery of oral health in the borough were identified, as were the main delivery organizations and teams. Local data on oral health was gathered and updated and then compared to regional and national data to identify performance levels. Relevant and current literature, papers and strategies were also identified.
Any Public Health Projects in the borough that were relevant or overlapped with the current project were identified. Engagement was then sought with project leads via telephone, face to face meetings and online surveys. Local residents across all demographics were also spoken to about their experiences in accessing dental care as well as what their expressed needs were for any future plan of action.
Bi weekly update reports were sent to the Department of Public Health and an internal data hub was created on the Public Health shared computer drives. A report was produced incorporating feedback from internal and external sources from a broad representation.
- Patterns of non-uniform delivery were identified
- Cases of dental health service and delivery overlaps especially in child dental health was identified and efficiencies recommended
- Absence of some well-established evidence-based initiatives being delivered nationally was also found and recommended
- A new and holistic action plan for the delivery of oral health was produced which streamlined the varied and overlapping services delivering oral health
- A service specification was produced for the delivery of oral health services in the borough
- An online tool for engagement with local primary dental care was produced
- Several vulnerable groups in the borough (including the Roma community) were identified, engaged with and included in decision making processes for the first time
Recommendation to produce savings for the borough were highlighted in the final action plan including types of resources to be either purchased or internally produced.
An accurate SWOT analysis which included cost comparisons and opportunities for savings were identified and recommended to the Department of Public Health.
Niki Holdich – Public Health Specialist, Venn Group Consultancy
“Venn Group Consultancy is a response to the need to transform our public services. This project at Newham is an example of us partnering with a subject matter expert to deliver an outcome focused public health project at a fixed cost.”