The central funds to be managed by the Department are for the capital costs of setting up a fluoridation scheme. Strategic health authorities (SHAs) would meet the costs of any consultations from their core allocations. Guidance issued by the Chief Dental Officer on 5 February advises that an SHA should take account of the oral health needs of the population it serves and the technical feasibility of fluoridating its water supply before preparing for a consultation.
None so far. The funds are for the capital cost of setting up the plant for a fluoridation scheme. Strategic health authorities would not therefore apply for funds until they had consulted on proposals for a fluoridation scheme and demonstrated that it was supported by the local population that would be affected.
The Department has commissioned three completed research studies on fluoridation and health, “A Systematic Review of Water Fluoridation” published by the University of York in 2000, “Water Fluoridation and Health” published by the Medical Research Council in 2002 and the “Bioavailability of Fluoride in Drinking Water: a Human Experimental Study in 2005” published by the University of Newcastle in 2004. The Department is also funding a further project on the use of fluorescent imaging to develop objective and quantitative measures of enamel fluorosis, which is currently in progress.