The National Community Water Fluoridation (CWF) Network welcomes the commitment in the Green Paper ‘Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s’ that the NHS should work more closely with local authorities to implement water fluoridation schemes. The Green Paper has been published by the Cabinet Office and by the Department of Health and Social Care.
Water fluoridation is a public health measure which adjusts the amount of naturally occurring fluoride to the optimum level – one part per million - to prevent dental decay. Strong evidence shows that it reduces dental decay. NHS England is offering to share with local authorities some of the ensuing savings achieved thanks to a reduced spend on the treatment of dental decay.
Simon Hearnshaw who is spearheading the national CWF network, a powerful grouping of dental, medical and social justice organisations, praised the initiative, saying that if half the money saved on dental treatment was to be shared with local authorities, this would more than cover the recurring costs of water fluoridation.
He added: “Although the cost of water fluoridation is not great it nevertheless represents a financial barrier to local authorities which have so many responsibilities and limited budgets. We will be doing what we can to support councils in the most deprived areas by sharing the wealth of evidence that we have amassed on the safety and efficacy of water fluoridation.”
Alan Johnson, the former MP and Secretary of State for Health and a long-time proponent of water fluoridation commented: “In an NHS that is truly focused on prevention and tackling the obscene health inequality statistics, Community Water Fluoridation has to be part of the strategy.”
“We should not accept a situation where children are being hospitalised in droves to have their teeth removed whilst the greatest single proven solution (CWF) is not used widely enough.”
“Ensuring that local authorities don’t face an additional fiscal pressure as a result of fluoridation is a practical way for the NHS to be true to its founding principles by supporting local authorities like Hull and many others in the North who are determined to act on behalf of children in areas where tooth decay is most prevalent.”
Simon Hearnshaw said the network would be responding in detail to the consultation and in particular making suggestions around the role of water companies which have the job of implementing water fluoridation.
Note to editors:
Water fluoridation is supported by the following organisations:
British Dental Association
British Fluoridation Society
The Local Dental Network Fluoridation Group
British Society of Paediatric Dentistry
Faculty of General Dental Practice
British Association of Dental Therapists
British Oral Health foundation
British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy
National Children's Bureau
Association of Dental Groups
British Association fro the Study of Community Dentistry
The Society of British Dental Nurses
The Dental Professionals Alliance
The National Oral Health Promotion Group
For more information or to interview one of the network, please contact Caroline Holland: 0208 679 9595/07974731396