Healthy Living Dentistry

The Healthy Living Dental Practice (HLD) framework is focused on improving the health and wellbeing of the local population and helping to reduce health inequalities through the provision of inclusive, holistic high-quality care in general dental practice across Greater Manchester.

On behalf of NHS Greater Manchester Integrated Care and in conjunction with the Greater Manchester Local Dental Professional Network and Health Education England North West, it gives us great pleasure to introduce the Healthy Living Dentistry (HLD) Programme to Greater Manchester.

This programme helps recognise the general health messages already delivered by dental teams and provides the opportunity to take patient care to another level. It recognises the contribution dental practices are already making to improve the health and wellbeing of their patients in line with Delivering better oral health: an evidence-based toolkit for prevention.

As health and social care evolves nationally and locally into integrated care systems (ICS), Greater Manchester Integrated Care Partnership (GMICP) has replaced Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership (which existed since 2016) as the partnership between all the different organisations which support people’s health and care. Greater Manchester Integrated Care Partnership is not one organisation, not a single entity, and not an employer. It operates on (at least) three levels: Greater Manchester, place and neighbourhood, as will its constituent parts.

It includes NHS organisations, councils, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, voluntary, community and social enterprise colleagues and others all working together to help achieve our common vision which will be set out in our new five-year integrated care strategy. It will preserve and evolve the culture and ambitions of Greater Manchester devolution. The HLD programme allows dental practices to showcase the care they offer to patients and the opportunity to support common health inequalities as GMICP matures.

Dental practices continue to have an important place at the heart of local communities and the HLD programme helps build on this through programmes such as Baby Teeth DO Matter (BTDM) and by establishing links with early years settings, as well as improving communication with other health professionals, especially Healthy Living Pharmacies and Healthy Living Optical practices.

Practices are able to demonstrate a commitment to patients’ dental and general wellbeing under an endorsed programme led by practice-based and qualified health champions. It helps with the development of our dental teams’ leadership and communication skills, helping to establish and maintain strong teamworking.

As we head towards contract reform, where quality of delivery will be a key component of the contract, Greater Manchester dental practices will be able to demonstrate these quality improvements by following the HLD programme.

Being a HLD will provide extensive evidence to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) of being a caring practice.

Practices working towards the British Dentistry Association good practice award will find they already meet much of the criteria, which will provide evidence for the BDA award application.

Finally, as healthcare professionals, we will be able to improve the care we offer our patients which can only lead to an increase in job satisfaction for us all.

Mohsan Ahmad
Chair, Greater Manchester Local Dental Network