Childsmile - Improving the oral health of children in Scotland

Childsmile is a Scotland wide Government funded project aiming to reduce inequalities in oral health and ensuring access to dental services for every child across the country.

Childsmile - Improving the oral health of children in Scotland

Project

There are three strands to the project:

Childsmile Core: is available throughout Scotland. Every child is provided with free oral health packs until age five. Private and local authority nurseries as well as Primary 1 and 2 classes from schools in the 20% most deprived areas are invited to take part in daily supervised tooth brushing, as part of the Core programme.

Practice: The Childsmile Practice programme is designed to improve the oral health of children in Scotland from birth by working closely with dental practices and communities. It is being developed to provide a universally accessible child-centred NHS dental service.   It is carried out through a network of primary care dental service providers.  Childsmile is introduced to the family by the public health nurse or health visitor who will refer them straight to a dental practice or to a Dental Health Support Worker

Nursery and School: The Childsmile Nursery and Childsmile School programmes deliver fluoride varnishing for children aged 3 and upwards who are identified as living in the most deprived areas.

Since 2011, all elements have been delivered in all Health Board areas throughout Scotland.

Method

HIC supports the clinical delivery, monitoring and evaluation of the programme.  HIC involvement began in 2006 and has been refined and developed in line with the establishment and growth of the various Childsmile Programme elements.  Re-designed and integrated software was adopted by all Scottish Health Boards by early 2010.

HIC provides all NHS Scotland Childsmile teams with the patient management system that underpins the day to day management of the Childsmile programme. Its two main components are the NHS based web administration site and the Childsmile software. The Childsmile software application consists of two main sections: Childsmile Nursery/School/Core and Childsmile Practice, one is dedicated to support all aspects of the Childsmile Core and Childsmile School and Nursery programmes and the other is dedicated to support some elements of the Childsmile Practice programme. The Nursery & School software has an added feature that allows it to be used offline to enter data during visits to schools and nurseries where the staff are unable to be connected to the NHS network.

 Programme information is entered into the patient management system by Childsmile staff and stored, managed and collated by HIC on secure servers. Information is fed back to Childsmile staff in all NHS Boards to support their daily activities. Identifiable data is available to select NHS Board users to facilitate clinical activity and anonymised data is provided, to each NHS Board and at a National level, in the form of reports to support programme management. HIC also releases data to ISD for evaluation and monitoring of the Childsmile programme.

The Results

National level extracts from recent headline report:

Core programme toothbrushing

2015/16 academic year

Total number of pre-school establishments

Pre-school establishments participating in toothbrushing programme (%)

Total number of local authority primary schools

Primary schools participating in toothbrushing programme (%)

Scotland
2738
2619 (95.7)
2043
1333 (65.2)

 

Childsmile Nursery and School

 Proportion of population of nursery and P1-P4 children receiving at least one fluoride varnish application, by national SIMD - Scotland

 

2015/16 academic year

Nursery

P1-P4

N % N %

SIMD1

14543
50.3
35770
68.4

SIMD2

9911
41.1
20892
45.0

SIMD3

6802
30.3
12804
28.9

SIMD4

6063
26.9
10201
22.4

SIMD5

3862
17.0
5336
11.2

 Childsmile Practice 

2015/16 financial year

Children referred to DHSW

Children successfully contacted by DHSW

Children with a Childsmile dental appointment arranged

Children registered/will register with own dentist

Scotland

14610
14079
6092
8235

Conclusions

"As a result of our efforts, dental health in Scotland is improving, particularly in deprived communities. In the Primary 7 age group dental health has never been better and on a Scotland level the target of 60 per cent of this age group having no obvious decay has been met. This is a fantastic success story."

Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Shona Robison

Project team

http://www.child-smile.org.uk/

http://dentistry.dundee.ac.uk/dental-health-services-research-unit


Want more information about this project?

Kim Chalmers

Childsmile Programme Manager (East Region)

kim.chalmers@nhs.net
View Profile