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Dental Health and Looked After Children (Northumbria Health Board)

  • Dr Sally Holland
  • Dr Anne Williams
  • Dr Belinda Bateman (Northumbria Health Care Trust)
  • Alex Rushworth (Northumbria Health Care Trust)
  • Joanne Mackintosh (Northumbria Health Care Trust)

This project aims to explore the health of looked after children and young people by exploring their levels of oral health knowledge and behaviours, and carry out a process evaluation of the impact of the innovative dental service that is serving this population in Northumbria at present. 

Study participants are children and young people (@ 5 – 17 years old) who have recently become ‘looked after’ by Local Authorities; their adult carers; adult stakeholders normally involved in the health and dental health of looked after children i.e. social workers; foster carers; residential workers; general dental practitioners; community dental staff ; looked after children health personnel.

At present the pilot dental health service is being evaluated by a team of researchers based in both Northumbria Health Care Trust and in Cardiff University. The evaluation includes: analysis of patient attendance and ‘Did not attend’ (DNA) rate; an initial health needs analysis based on the condition of the children’s teeth; satisfaction rates of children: young people and their carers; pre and post intervention oral health knowledge and behaviours.

A linked audit is currently being carried out by DF2 dental health practitioners in England Wales. They are surveying dental provision for looked after children.