Oral health improvement plan

This document sets out the future of oral health improvement and NHS dental services in Scotland.

Conclusion and Next Steps

This Oral Health Improvement Plan is an ambitious programme of work which we hope will make a significant contribution to improving the oral health of the population.

A summary of the key commitments and actions which will form the basis of our programme of work is provided at the end of this document.

The consultation exercise provided an essential and valuable opportunity to ask the profession, the public and a range of stakeholders for their views on how to reach our goal of improving oral health and how we shape NHS dentistry going forward. The consultation tested a number of proposals which helped inform decision-making essential to taking this plan forward.

We are fully committed to realising the ambitions set out within this plan. We recognise however, that what we have set out is a combination of short-medium- and long-term goals. We want to ensure that as plans are put in place to take forward these actions patient care is maintained and businesses remain viable.

We recognise that the actions within this plan will have an impact on dentists, the dental team and patients. In order to implement this plan we have identified the following next steps.


To facilitate implementation our immediate priority is to create a number of short-life working groups to advise the CDO on design and implementation of the priorities for this plan.

The CDO is already involved in a number of groups to set policy direction, including domiciliary care and oral surgery. Therefore our next step is to establish working groups to develop the OHRA, preventive care pathway and simplification of the SDR. A key role for the workstreams will be to produce timeframes for implementation.

Action 38: The Scottish Government will establish a number of short-life working groups to take forward the actions set out within this plan.

Regular Updates from the Chief Dental Officer

With any substantial change in policy direction it is important to keep the public and key stakeholders informed about the progress towards implementation.

Action 39: The CDO will produce a bi-annual newsletter to provide an update on progress toward implementation.


During the consultation process we held a series of roadshow events with the profession which was an important part of the consultation process. Feedback from these events was largely positive with a number of attendees stating in their evaluation forms that the process was a valuable one that they would welcome in the future.

We will therefore commit to delivering a second series of roadshow events for the profession which will provide attendees with the opportunity to discuss the content of the OHIP with the CDO and feed into our plans for implementation. These events will take place once the working groups have started their initial work.

Action 40: The Scottish Government will run a number of roadshow events to discuss the implementation arrangements for the OHIP.

If you would like to register an interest in taking part, and be notified once registration opens, please send your details to: oralhealthplan@gov.scot

Young Dentists, EU Dentists and Remote and Rural Dentists

Following on from the roadshow events with the profession it became clear that we have found it difficult at times to engage effectively with particular groups. We subsequently included webinar events with groups of young dentists and dentists from remote and rural areas.

Since the publication of the consultation analysis we have hosted evening events with young dentists and dentists from the EU.

We intend to continue with these events to help support the work of this plan. If you are interested in finding out more please email: oralhealthplan@gov.scot

Patient Forum

Our work with the Scottish Health Council on focus groups with patients proved to be a valuable resource in helping us shape this plan. We believe that as we move towards implementation, further engagement with patients is important. Therefore, we will work with the Scottish Health Council to develop a Patient Forum which will allow patients the opportunity to feed in to the implementation process at regular intervals.

Action 41: The Scottish Government will work with the Scottish Health Council to develop a Patient Forum.

General Evening Events

The CDO has a long standing commitment where she hosts small evening events across Scotland with dentists who work in NHS general dental practice.

As with the events for the specific groups described above, the intention is for this programme of work to continue going forward. If you are interested in finding out more please email: oralhealthplan@gov.scot


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