6 Nov 2014

Professor Stephen Peckham's letter to the Echo in response to the editor's comment about HAF

I welcome the Echo editor’s call for more to be done to help children with poor dental health (Echo 31st October) and thank him for acknowledging Hampshire Against Fluoridation’s campaign. HAF’s success was down to the support of local people who objected to having fluoridation imposed upon them. Our argument that fluoridation is ineffective and unethical is based on sound evidence.
HAF has indeed turned what the Echo terms our “formidable campaigning machine” towards the problems of child dental decay, having argued for a number of years for the use of effective alternatives. One of the great success stories has been the Scottish ChildSmile programme. In 2012 I met with the ChildSmile team in Glasgow to find out more about this programme. They were willing to come to Southampton to share their expertise if invited by local public health leaders – an offer unfortunately not taken up by the City Council. Instead we were told that a similar scheme was being delivered to children in the city and that everything possible was being done. Yet this scheme reached less than 10% of Southampton children. So much more could have been done for ALL children if the ChildSmile model had been adopted from the start, an approach now recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). The key to success is making better use of existing staff and resources – not just dentists and oral health specialists - but nursery leaders, teachers, playgroup leaders and others who already work with young children.
Excellent results could be achieved if public health leaders implemented a forward thinking city-wide community programme which would reach the children most in need. Implementing fluoridation would have cost PHE several hundred thousand pounds - let’s hope that they now invest this in effective community dental health programmes in Southampton. Such a move would ensure widespread support.
Professor Stephen Peckham

Hampshire Against Fluoridation

1 comment:

rcannard said...

The thing i don't understand about the pro fluoride brigade is where are they,where is the Southampton pro fluoride group where are the letters in the Echo praising it's benefits,the whole issue regarding fluoridation seems to be confined to the officials as there the one's pushing this poison, i say that because i never once saw anyone praising fluoridation except dentists or health officials...Public Health England have the resources to put the problem of dental decay to rest or certainly reduce the rate of children with decayed teeth,there quick enough to throw our money at a scheme that was clearly going nowhere...Fluoridation was never the answer it's to hit and miss and the waste involved is also throwing money down the drain, now though we have the chance to redirect that money to the people who really need it instead of just throwing some fairy tale cure in the water and hoping for the best...