Reforms must be piloted, Steele tells Parliamentarians

06 July 2010

An audience of Parliamentarians, stakeholders from the dental family and consumer groups this week heard Professor Jimmy Steele reinforce the importance of piloting the changes that are expected to arise from his recent report on NHS dentistry in England. Speaking at the first summer reception of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Dentistry, Professor Steele stressed the importance of openness and innovation in taking forward his team’s proposals and underlined the importance of proper piloting to effective reforms.

He also argued that dentistry is too often left on the fringes of healthcare and that it must be given more priority by those responsible for commissioning it. Noting that his team’s own report was published less than a year after the Health Select Committee report that triggered it, he argued that there is a momentum for change that must be harnessed.

Professor Steele was speaking in response to Health Select Committee Chair the Rt Hon Kevin Barron MP, who reminded the audience of the challenges identified for dentists and Government alike by his committee. The reception marked the first anniversary of the publication of the Health Select Committee’s report and was the first by the APPG for Dentistry, which was set up at the end of 2008 to provide a focus for dental and oral health for Parliamentarians at Westminster.

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