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Advancing dental care

HEE commissioned the Advancing Dental Care Education & Training Review to consider the skills and composition of the future dental workforce that will best meet future patient need, and the training structures and funding models that will deliver that workforce.

During the first phase of the Advancing Dental Care project, the review team conducted a six-month engagement and evidence-gathering exercise.  We have identified and explored a series of options to improve training, shared thinking as widely as possible, and engaged with stakeholders to develop proposals.

The findings and recommendations of the review are set out in the first Advancing Dental Care Report, published in May 2018. HEE’s Executive Team have accepted the recommendations and granted approval for a three-year continuation of the project, commencing in 2018.

The first phase of Advancing Dental Care has revealed widespread recognition of the educational, service and economic cases for change. Phase two will commence with more focused research and engagement, to deepen our understanding of current issues and produce a robust evidence base to underpin any future decisions regarding education and training.

This will be an open, inclusive process involving dentists and dental care professionals, providers, professional bodies and patient groups as we co-design practical solutions for the coming decades of dental care.

The findings and 21 recommendations include:

  • obtaining further data to better understand the workforce and current funding models;
  • developing a needs-based approach for training commissioning;
  • encouraging flexibility for the service and the workforce;
  • providing early careers support; and
  • unlocking the potential of the oral health team, by encouraging team-working and utilisation of all full scope of practice for all oral healthcare professionals

Advancing Dental Care has been a wonderful opportunity for dental professionals to take a look at the current training and education we provide and possibilities for the future. Phase two will focus on developing high quality education and training that will provide a flexible workforce for future NHS service provision to reflect the changes in our patient’s needs, the development of innovative technology and the workforce career aspirations for high quality care for decades to come.

Nicholas Taylor, Chair of English Dental Deans and The Committee of Postgraduate Deans and Directors (COPDEND)

We welcome the views of the existing and future workforce on the existing models and how these can be improved. Contact us by email at advancingdentistry@hee.nhs.uk. Further updates on this work will be provided on this page.

A version of the above film is available with subtitles on youtube.com.

A number of FAQs have been prepared providing feedback to comments received during the course of the project so far.