Oral Health Improvement and Dental Services in Scottish Prisons

Guidance for NHS Boards on oral health improvement and dental services in Scottish Prisons.

6. Education and Training

6.1 Prison is a unique and particularly challenging place to deliver dental care. The complex issues facing prison dental teams in the day to day delivery of their professional duties include:[26]

  • Patients with very high levels of dental need and neglect
  • Patients with history of alcohol and substance abuse
  • High turnover and prisoner transfer
  • Security constraints
  • Litigation culture
  • Variable availability of oral health promoting activities

6.2 NHS Education Scotland provides a core educational programme to address the educational requirements of dental professionals in Scotland. NES will work with dental teams working in prison settings to provide specific continuing professional development for prison dental teams.

6.3 Some education and training will be unique to the general custodial setting and may need to be addressed jointly with between the local NHS Board and the Scottish Prison Service or delivered on a regional basis to make the programme viable. This may include:

  • Situation de-escalation
  • Personal protection
  • Suicide risk assessment

6.4 There will be some mandatory induction training which will be specific to the individual prison and will require SPS staff from the specific prison to deliver it. This may include:

  • Security protocols
  • 'Key' Training

6.5 Prison dental teams should provide training and guidance to prison staff and prison healthcare staff. This may include:

  • The management of the acute dental problem
  • Oral health improvement activities


Email: Elizabeth Mclear

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