Dentistry in Primary Care Collaborative

Healthcare Improvement Scotland ran a pilot improvement collaborative across dentistry in primary care settings, from 2016-2018. This provided a unique opportunity for dental practice teams to learn about quality improvement techniques and piloting the use of tools and interventions to deliver safer, more reliable care.

Following a national recruitment process we worked with practices in three NHS boards:

  • NHS Ayrshire & Arran
  • NHS Dumfries & Galloway, and
  • NHS Fife

As a result of this work, dental practice teams and their patients:

  • learned about improvement methodology
  • piloting the use of tools and interventions to deliver safer, more reliable care
  • explored their safety climate by undertaking a safety climate survey and
  • sharing learning within their teams, within their NHS boards and with other NHS boards.

Area of focus 2016 - 2017

High Risk Medicines Care Bundle

To reduce the risk of harm to patients on high risk medicines such as warfarin, the collaborative teams worked to improve the taking of medical histories for patients who are prescribed high risk medicines and or who are diabetic.

Area of focus 2017-2018

Prevention of Periodontal Disease

In July 2017, our Periodontal Expert Reference Group met to develop an aim, driver diagram, care bundle and guidance to focus on the prevention of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is caused by a build up of bacteria in dental plaque. 

Our dental collaborative teams are testing the care bundle between September 2017 and March 2018. The aim of this work was to improve dental health in registered adult patients by 31 March 2018. Patients presenting for a routine examination at risk of periodontal health, would have a preventative personal care plan developed and communicated to them.

Vocational Dental Practitioners

We worked with colleagues from NHS Education Scotland (NES) to test the High Risk Medicines and the Prevention of Periodontal Disease care bundles with two groups of Vocational Dental Practitioners (VDPs)

During their vocational training year (2017-2018), VDPs and their trainers took part in the following quality improvement (QI) activities:

  • collected data on one of the above care bundles using the excel data collection tool provided.
  • completed the six recommended e-learning modules from the QI-zone - available through Turas
  • lead the completion of a dental safety climate survey within their practice, and
  • submitted a reflective QI project based on their experience to NES.

We are pleased to have supported this work and the relevant documents and resources have been shared on this website. However, it should be noted that these resources may still be in development.  

For further information or guidance please contact our team on: