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17.10.19

New nationwide dental education and training movement set out

A widespread engagement exercise is beginning to ensure the workfare delivering future dental services meets the requirements and expectations of patients and the priorities set out in the NHS Long Term Plan.

Professor Simon Gregory, HEE’s deputy medical director, primary and integrated care has said: “The dental workforce needs to adapt to meet the changing needs of the 21st century.”

The exercise builds on work already performed by Health Education England (HEE) as part of the three-year Advancing Dental Care Review.

The review which is led by HEE’s seven dental deans is aiming to identify components needed to meet the future population demands. Such as skills, training, workforce profiles and funding models.

It is due to reveal it’s found recommendations in 2020/2021 following a roll-out of new pilot training models.

Starting this month (October) and continuing until December, engagement will take place with national and regional stakeholders ranging from public and professional bodies, employers and dental schools to local practices and commissioners.

The public’s views will be gathered via local patient representatives and Healthwatch groups.

Professor Gregory added: “This England-wide review will help us create flexible training opportunities to enhance recruitment and retention within the NHS, develop new skill-mix models and address geographical and dental workforce shortages.”

Malcolm Smith, chair of the advancing dental care review and postgraduate dental dean for the North East, said: “I am delighted that we have reached the point where we are in a position to share the evidence we have gathered with stakeholders and engage with them on future NHS dental workforce models to deliver 21st century oral health services.

“Key issues already identified by the project include workforce optimisation and an unequal distribution of training places in England across the dental specialties.”

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