Agenda item


The Panel will receive an update from the B&NES, Swindon & Wiltshire Integrated Care Board (BSW ICB) on current issues.


Kevin Burnett asked if any significant changes had been noticed since the Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire (BSW) ICB, with the support of the NHS South West Dental Commissioning Hub, became responsible for the commissioning of dental services across England as of 1 April 2023.


He asked if any mobile dental services have been considered to help with coverage of the B&NES area.


He asked what remedies have been considered to address the falling numbers in adults accessing NHS dental services in B&NES.


He asked for confirmation that the BSW ICB have a SEND representative and asked what their role was and how they liaised with other agencies.


The Director of Children's Services & Education replied that Gill May, Director of Nursing & Quality has this role and sits on the Board.


Councillor Joanna Wright informed the Panel that she had been made aware that if a patient did not attend their NHS dentist within a three-year period they would lose their place at that practice. She added that following Covid many dentists changed their working arrangements and she felt that this has led patients believing that they could no longer attend the same practice as they used to. She questioned whether this had caused the reduction in numbers that has been seen.


The Chair commented that it was important to find out the underlying causes for the drop in attendance and suggested whether a Panel member could discuss this matter directly with the ICB and report back.


The Policy Development & Scrutiny Officer replied that he had been invited to an informal discussion with the ICB and would have this topic in mind for when they meet.


Councillor Liz Hardman commented that having asked a number of local dentists why they were no longer able to provide a service under the NHS their response was that they were not paid enough. She added that they had also said that in terms of payment per units of dental activity, one unit could sometimes involve 12 treatments and that was all that they would get paid.


She asked the ICB to explore with the Government whether the pay for B&NES NHS dentists can be improved. She added that she welcomed the focus on the areas of greatest need and inequality of access.


The Director of Public Health replied that with regard to identifying areas in greater need this was an opportunity in time now that the ICB have taken on this role.


Councillor Joanna Wright suggested that a cross party motion be raised with Council on this matter to highlight the issue as it was so important to all local residents.

The Chair asked if the Panel agreed with this proposal. They indicated that they were in agreement.


The Policy Development & Scrutiny Officer advised that the Panel itself could not lead on taking a motion to Council but suggested that the Cabinet Member could be approached to seek a way forward on this proposal.


The Panel RESOLVED to note the update that had been provided.