Sara Hurley has outlined the key themes of her integrated strategy for oral health and dental care.
Speaking at the Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK), Sara Hurley, chief dental officer for England, called for ‘more joint endeavours – professional, geographic and conceptual’, ‘greater national direction’ over the responsibilities of local offices, and ‘training and support… to ensure that all NHS England Commissioners know what quality oral care looks like.’
She also explained that contract reform is ‘critical…if we are to make the transition from dental activity to oral health as the desired outcome of the NHS dental service’.
When Sara Hurley was appointed she made a ‘re-design of the NHS England groups required to assess local need, and design and manage the services in their areas’ a top priority for 2016.
On the new commissioning guides, she also acknowledged that while many care pathways will require specialists or consultants, ‘experienced GDPs are very capable of confidently and competently handling level two complexity caseloads’, and said work on how to validate and contract them to do so was underway.
The CDO, an FGDP(UK) member since 2003, was delivering the fifth Malcolm Pendlebury Memorial Lecture, held by the faculty every two years in honour of one of its founding members, who was also its third dean between 1997 and 2000 and is remembered for his commitment to raising standards in dental practice.