February – March 2017

It looks as though Barnsley has escaped fluoridation!

Although the minutes of the Health and Well-Being Board for 4th April have not yet been uploaded, the oral health team’s report forms part of the Board’s papers.  Here are the relevant extracts:

“3.3 Summary Of Performance 3.3.1 Current Strengths These include the following: · Targeted Approach to improving oral health of children – all family centres across the borough have been engaged to set up a brushing club, distributing free toothbrush/paste packs to the most vulnerable families. The recent superhero campaign has been a huge success, with resources being used by all dentists and primary schools across Barnsley. A consultant from Maxillofacial Surgery at Barnsley Hospital has recently been engaged which has opened up opportunities for work targeting the most vulnerable families that are attending for children’s dental extractions.”

“Since 2007/8 the proportion of 5 year olds free from tooth decay in Barnsley has improved by almost 10%. Although this is still below the England average our rates are improving faster which is closing the gap. A significant amount of work across the borough has contributed to this. An evidence based Action Plan is in place and this work is led by the multi-agency Oral Health Improvement Advisory Group (OHIAG). The work includes all family centres across the borough having set up a brushing club, distributing free toothbrush/paste packs to the most vulnerable families via food banks, and the development of an e-learning package for frontline staff on oral health. The recent superhero campaign has been a huge success, with resources being used by all dentists and primary schools across Barnsley. As part of the campaign a competition was held with primary school children to design a poster. The campaign, using the tag line ‘Brushing twice a day is the super hero way’, is helping to encourage children to brush their teeth, visit the dentist and to encourage parents to ask for fluoride varnish at the dentist. A consultant from Maxillofacial Surgery at Barnsley Hospital has recently joined the OHIAG, which has opened up opportunities for work targeting the most vulnerable families that are attending for children’s dental extractions. An Oral Health Needs Assessment is currently in development and the recommendations from this will be incorporated into the OHIAG Action Plan.”

Miracles do happen and this is one of them.  There is no mention of water fluoridation.  In cases like this it’s best not to criticise pro-fluoridation PHE employees so, in line with other dissenting Local Authorities, the matter is probably to be allowed to sink out of sight without a splash.

!