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West Sussex County Council’s Public Health team scoop national award

An innovative project to make it easier for dentists to promote sugar reduction and healthier diets among their patients has been recognised at a national awards ceremony.

West Sussex County Council’s Public Health team were crowned national award winners at the Public Health England (PHE) Conference in Warwick for the West Sussex Sugar Smart Dental Toolkit.

Spearheaded by Ali Thomson, Sue Carmichael and Kate Bailey, the project was one of only four recognised, out of 300 in total.

The dental toolkit is part of the West Sussex Sugar Reduction Programme. It saw the county council’s public health team work alongside the Local Dental Committee, Health Education England and Public Health England to develop the toolkit for dentists.

Launched in May 2018, the four-week pilot ran in 12 dental practices across West Sussex. Aligned to the national Change4Life  and ‘Top tips for teeth’ campaigns, the toolkit included badges, stickers, promotional materials, social media links, and prescription pads supporting dental teams to promote sugar reduction awareness amongst patients. Patients were also directed to healthy lifestyle services within their local Wellbeing Hub for more support if required.

This work has raised awareness of the harms of sugar on teeth and its effect on general health.

Through collaborative working the partnership approach has enabled public health specialists to gain insight into the dental profession and create a resource that is beneficial to both dental teams and patients.