Preventing illness, not just curing it, is often talked of as the answer for an NHS increasingly in demand and under pressure.
WA Health worked with Denplan to draw policymakers’ attention to the essential role of oral health in helping people avoid chronic conditions or identify them early.
Too often oral healthcare can be overlooked as a tool for improving people’s general health and wellbeing.
Meanwhile, statistics show more young children are being admitted to hospital with serious tooth decay, presenting a major challenge for future health.
To have a voice on these issues, WA Health advised Denplan to embark on a thought leadership programme. This would give prominence to problems and help policymakers find solutions.
Bringing key organisations together was crucial to demonstrate consensus. So WA Health convened a seminar involving senior dental policymakers, healthcare leaders, campaign groups and industry representatives
We used our insight into the unfolding policy agenda to make sure discussion on children’s oral health and preventative healthcare struck a chord with topical debate on obesity, diet and lifestyle.
A report summarising the seminar’s conclusions, endorsed by participants, generated a series of meetings with decision-makers and opinion-formers on achieving dentistry’s potential in preventative healthcare.
Denplan highlighted the efforts of dentists in practices up and down the country on making preventative healthcare the norm. They also showed how health policymakers could coordinate that contribution better for the long term benefit of patients and the health service.