December 2022

Volume 39, Issue 4

A Health Inequalities Impact Assessment of the surveillance of COVID-19 in asymptomatic patients attending dental settings in Scotland

Authors: Jacky Burns Niall Mc Goldrick Debbie Sigerson Maura Edwards Shauna Culshaw Claire Clark Chris Watling Raymond Braid Emma O’Keefe Megan Gorman David I. Conway
doi: 10.1922/CDH_00170Burns06


Introduction: A key aspect of the public health response to COVID-19 in Scotland was enhanced community surveillance, including testing in dental settings. Across Scotland, dental settings offered patients over 5-years-old the opportunity to participate in community surveillance of COVID-19. Methods: A Health Inequalities Impact Assessment (HIIA) was conducted to understand the differential impacts the programme would have on the population and to improve the accessibility of the programme. HIIA is a tool to allow the assessment, understanding, and mitigation of impacts on people of a proposed policy or practice. It fulfils an organisational duty to meet the requirements of the Equality Act and Fairer Scotland Duty. The HIIA was conducted rapidly in parallel with the programme development. An action research approach included an online workshop, consultation, review of population data and a literature search. Results: Adjustments were required to improve the programme’s accessibility. Stakeholders, including dental teams from across Scotland were involved in the consultation and brought their front-line experience in different settings. Common issues identified included digital literacy and access, language and cultural barriers to participation, and issues relating to the implications of a positive COVID-19 result. Literature indicated limited evidence on the acceptability, accessibility, and equity of asymptomatic COVID-19 surveillance. Conclusion: This HIIA was conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic. As an example of good practice in tackling inequalities in access to programmes it should represent the benchmark for other similar initiatives. Keywords: Health Services Accessibility, COVID-19, Public Health, Dentistry, Health equity, Public Health Surveillance


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Who are the 10%? Characteristics of the populations and communities receiving fluoridated water in England 247-253 Download
A Health Inequalities Impact Assessment of the surveillance of COVID-19 in asymptomatic patients attending dental settings in Scotland 254-259 Download
The Impact of Oral Health Training on the Early Year’s Workforce Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours in Delivering Oral Health Advice: A Systematic Review 260-266 £10 single article
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