As Deputy Executive Dean the past year has proved an interesting and enjoyable one, with a number of developments within King’s and the wider community.
The political profile of oral health has certainly continued to rise. The long-awaited Prevention Green Paper was published earlier this year and included specific measures around children’s oral health, including proposals to extend the provision of supervised tooth brushing schemes and provide greater incentives for local authorities to fluoridate their water supplies. This heightened profile was also evident in the recent election campaign, with all the major parties mentioning either prevention or oral health in their manifestos.
In parallel with this the publication of the NHS Long Term Plan and Health Education England’s Advancing Dental Care project have focused attention on the changing demographics and healthcare needs of the population. The Care Quality Commission also published its Smiling Matters review, which assessed levels of oral healthcare in care homes in England, and announced plans to include specific oral health related questions within visitations. These initiatives have all served to help demonstrate the added value of the oral healthcare team in improving general as well as oral health.
Our service to society activity, much of which is student led, has continued throughout the past year and included the ongoing work of the Smile Society and the provision of care for the homeless.
The continued development of productive collaborations, in this area, with other higher education institutions saw a highly successful Oral Health, Humanities and Social Sciences network meeting at the Science Gallery. Its theme of Oral Health Cultures, with a particular focus on vulnerable groups and inequalities in accessing care, stimulated active debate amongst the attendees from London the UK and internationally.
Professor Michael Escuider
Deputy Executive Dean
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