Evaluating innovative dental workforce training

Advancing Dental Care (ADC), led by HEE's Dental Deans, is a programme of work that was established in 2017 to develop a dental education and training infrastructure that supplies a dental workforce with the skills to respond to the changing oral health needs of patients and services. This is aligned with the vision set out in the NHS Long Term Plan, which includes action on supporting the health of the population through a focus on prevention and reducing health inequalities. ADC has been identified as a key enabler for delivering the dental workforce objectives that were laid out in the NHS Interim People Plan. This includes the exploration of more flexible dental training pathways to enhance recruitment and retention within the NHS, exploring new skill-mix models and working towards addressing geographical workforce shortages.

This pilot programme is being evaluated by SQW. The purpose of the evaluation is to provide an independent review to test and evaluate how innovative training initiatives serve to improve or modify the skills and capabilities of the dental workforce, relative to existing training models.

The evaluation will explore the impact of the pilot training initiatives on:

  • Training flexibility
  • Trainees' skills development
  • Future workforce supply and retention

It will also explore the implications for training commissioning.

The evaluation is running from February 2020 into 2021. It will involve qualitative fieldwork with trainees and professionals working in the sector, as well as surveys and analysis of existing secondary data. An interim report and final report will be published to present the evaluation findings.

For further information regarding SQW's evaluation, please contact Lauren Roberts, SQW Director, via lroberts@sqw.co.uk or Sam Jee, Policy Manager, HEE, via sam.jee@hee.nhs.uk.