03 August 2015
An independent report on dental health in Jersey commissioned by the Departments of Health and Social Services and Social Security has found the dental health of Jersey children to be very good and above that of children in the UK.
The report which is the culmination of surveys which took place during 2014 by a UK dental examiner found the oral health of five-year-old school children was very good and exceeded that noted in the UK. On average the number of decayed, missing or filled teeth across the 659 surveyed children was just over half that of England as a whole. Over 70% of these children had no evidence of any dental disease.
Primary care dentistry
A separate review of dental services and benefits estimated that around £1 million pounds of public money is spent each year supporting or delivering primary care dentistry. The report encourages the States to develop stronger governance processes, health information and an oral health strategy to assist with the future development of these services.
The Social Security Minister, Deputy Susie Pinel, said "The report offers clear advice on what we can do to make improvements and I am aware that, with our ageing population, we need to be able to adapt to meet future needs. We have already made a start by asking Islanders in the Jersey Annual Social Survey about their oral health and we have identified ways to improve how we manage our current benefits. I have also put forward plans to increase our funding of the 65+ Healthcare Scheme which supports low income pensioners with dental costs. If these plans are approved in October, we will be able to extend the scheme during 2016."
A new working group will be formed to manage the initiatives identified in this report and to improve services. The initiatives include:
- workforce development
- public health education.
This working group will also create an oral health strategy for the Island.
The Minister for Health and Social Services, Senator Andrew Green said "Health and Social Services and Social Security have worked together to commission these two independent reviews which offer Jersey a benchmark. We will continue to work together to find ways to put these recommendations into practice and build on this work, which will be developed as part of the wider primary care review."
View the Dental Health Services and Benefits Review (R91/2015)