June 2019

Volume 36, Issue 2

Dental Public Health in Action - Patient and professional engagement in the procurement of dental services

Authors: Desmond Wright Kelly Nizzer John Catchpole Charlotte Klass Aditi Mondkar
doi: 10.1922/CDH_4402Wright04

Abstract

Objective: To describe the process of patient and professional engagement in the procurement of a specialist dental service. Stakeholder engagement is the practice of interacting with, and infl uencing, project stakeholders to the overall benefi t of the project and its advocates. The successful completion of a project usually depends on how the stakeholders view it. Their requirements, expectations, perceptions, personal agendas and concerns will infl uence the project, shape what success looks like, and impact the outcomes that can be achieved. An engagement working group developed a work plan and communications strategy. Following initial scoping the engagement method and resources were developed. Engagement included patient and dentist questionnaires, interviews with specialists and hospital consultants, briefi ng papers and market engagement workshops. Outcome: Feedback from stakeholders provided reassurance of good access and quality, with 98% of patients expressing satisfaction with their overall treatment. Challenges included communication and administrative support. Learning points were diffusion of tension, developing a relationship based on trust, ensuring that stakeholder views are seen to be included in decision making and that there is fl exibility in the engagement process. Conclusions: Good stakeholder engagement with an effective communications strategy is important in the procurement of dental services. Stakeholder engagement should aim to inform, involve, consult, collaborate and empower. Keywords: Stakeholder engagement, dental commissioning

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