Dental Reform Strategy

The South West Dental Reform Programme was set up in 2020 to bring together the NHS England and NHS Improvement Dental Commissioning Team with key stakeholders with responsibility for oral health in the region (including; Public Health England, Health Education England, Local Dental Committee, Local Dental Network and sustainability and transformation partnership (STP)  representatives). The purpose of the programme is to inform our strategy for the future of NHS dental services that will contribute to the overall improvement of oral health for people living in the south west.

Dental reform is a regional priority for NHS England and NHS Improvement South West. We are supporting dental practices to resume services following the pandemic response and building on this so that services are better than before.

Oral Health Needs Assessment

An Oral Health Needs Assessment (OHNA) for the region has been completed (February 2021) as a first milestone in the South West Dental Reform programme.

NHS England and NHS Improvement South West is the commissioner responsible for planning and contracting NHS dental services in the region and arranged for an up to date OHNA to be undertaken by an independent provider, Ottaway Strategic Management. This significant piece of work is being used to inform the development of a South West Dental Reform strategy.

The OHNA provides an important set of suggestions, recommendations and evidence to enable a strategy to be developed to commission NHS dental services for the region that are best tailored to meet the needs of patients who live in the South West within the financial envelope set nationally.

To complete the OHNA, Ottaway undertook four different forms of engagement with stakeholders, practitioners, patients and the public, including; holding 56 stakeholder interviews; 221 stakeholder and oral health practitioner surveys were completed; 802 patient and public surveys were completed, and focus groups held. The information gathered through this engagement was analysed together with data gathered from a variety of sources as explained in the enclosed report.

South West OHNA Main Report

SW OHNA Appendix 1 Cornwall STP

SW OHNA Appendix 2 Devon STP

SW OHNA Appendix 3 Somerset STP

SW OHNA Appendix 4 Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire STP

SW OHNA Appendix 5 Gloucestershire STP

SW OHNA Appendix 6 BaNES Swindon and Wiltshire STP

SW OHNA Appendix 7 Dorset STP

South West OHNA Summary Report


Dental initiatives and activity by area

The South West Dental Term provide a regular bulletin to partner organisations about oral health activity and performance and a stakeholder update about local initiatives to help improve the oral health of people in the South West. The latest editions will be published here:

Please contact the Dental Team if you have any questions.


South West Dental Reform Programme

More than 150 Dental clinicians, stakeholders and patient representatives came together for a multi-disciplinary SPRINT engagement workshop held on 10 June by South West programme partners, including NHS England, Public Health England and Health Education England.

An outcome of engagement report following the SPRINT workshop reports on their feedback and compiles a summary of the insight gathered.

The report includes analysis of the feedback collated at the workshop. The report is prepared for the South West Dental Reform Programme Board.

Work by the Dental Team and South West Dental Reform Programme Board continues, using this outcome of engagement report to shape the next steps for the programme and subsequent engagement events. The engagement event is the first of a number of events to develop a roadmap and strategy for the South West Dental Reform Programme.