Oral Health Needs Assessment

The Oral Health Needs Assessment Unit (OHNAU) is a centre of excellence in oral epidemiology and dental public health research based at Queen Mary, University of London. The group has carried out extensive research in partnership with General Dental Practitioners, NHS Primary Care Trusts, Dental Public Health Consultants, Department of Health, World Health Organisation, and other health stakeholders. The OHNAU has staff providing specific expertise in statistics and oral epidemiology, including innovative oral health needs assessment and survey research design, health services planning and management. Healthcare providers can obtain academic support from OHNAU staff on a consultancy basis in developing protocols and/or conducting high quality, innovative oral health needs assessment.

The OHNAU has carried out several NHS PCT oral health needs assessments in the UK,  producing recommendations for oral health strategy based on local needs, and developing business cases to implement cost-effective oral health initiatives. A summary of key information on oral health in East London can be viewed here.

The OHNAU also works with national (Department of Health) and international (World Health Organisation) collaborators, providing academic support and infrastructure to carry out surveys. It has a track record of conducting national and international oral health surveys.



The Outer North East London (ONEL) oral health study included surveys of adults aged 16 to 65 years, adults with learning disabilities aged 16 to 65 years,  and children aged 3-4 years old living in Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge and Waltham Forest, ONEL.  The study was carried out by the Institute of Dentistry; Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), in collaboration with the associated Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) in 2008-2010. Survey reports were produced, which served to generate oral health programme planning recommendations in ONEL. The study provided epidemiological data that reflects the actual oral health needs of the local adult population and baseline information that will enable future targets to be set to improve the oral health of adults living in ONEL. The report will specifically help PCTs to: (i) commission cost-effective dental services based on sound epidemiological data; (ii) develop local oral strategies and targeting significant public oral health problems that will reduce treatment needs for adults in the future and; (iii) ensure that local oral health policies are consistent with national recommendations set out in key documents including the Department of Health Delivering Better Oral Health: An evidence-based toolkit for prevention” (1), “World Class Commissioning: Improving Dental Access. Quality and Oral Health” (2) and the recently published White Paper, “Healthy Lives, Healthy people: Our Strategy for Public Health in England” (3).


We appreciate the individuals who helped to organise and execute this survey.

  • Dr Marianne Hearsum (Head of the Special Care and Community Dental Service, NHS Barking and Dagenham) for their invaluable support, dedicated efforts and commitment to running the project in Barking and Dagenham.
  • Mrs Sue Clarke (Oral Health Strategy Manager at Waltham Forest PCT), for their invaluable support, dedicated efforts and commitment to running the project in Waltham Forest.
  • Dr Jane Pegrum (Head of the Community Dental Service, Outer North East London Community Services at Redbridge PCT), and Dr Charlotte Curl (Senior Dental Officer – Sedation and Special care, Outer North East London Community Services at Redbridge PCT), for their invaluable support, dedicated efforts and commitment to running the project in Redbridge.
  • Dr Pratibha Datta (Director of Public Health NHS Redbridge) and Dr Kay Eilbert (Acting Joint Director of Public Health, Waltham Forest PCT) for their insightful comments on the implication for commissioning dental services in Outer North East London (ONEL).
  • Dr Shamsher Diu (Consultant in Dental Public Health) for his innovation in bringing together this successful collaboration between the Institute of Dentistry, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London and the PCTs involved in this survey.
  • Ms Alexia Haysom, Ms Harveen Kaur Ubhi and Ms Rashmi Patel as Project Managers for their dedicated effort and support in leading and coordinating the data collection and for their hard work and cheerfulness in assisting with data collection.
  • John Buchanan and Patricia Evans for imparting their knowledge and expertise in the training sessions.
  • Subaseeli Prabaharan and Anand Lalli for acting as the Gold Standard dental examiners, and for their commitment and sense of responsibility.
  • The dental examiners, dental nurses and administrative staff who took part in this project: Eilis Lynch, Fotios Pappas, Adil Khalil, Alexandros Sitaras, Chrystalla Thrasyvoulou, Katerina Fotaroudi, Shreena Patel, Vasiliki Koukla, Dorothy Biney, Rita Shillingford, Margaret Andi, Ricky Ghoshdastidar, Rajvinder Rao, Charlotte Curl, Drs Tom MacDonald, Maria Kalkani, Kim Hua, Kishan Keswara, Clare Hempelman and Bernadette Ahamed.
  • The reliable team of interviewers: Cecilia Gonzales-Marin, Dennis Ola, Obinna Onwude, Aby Gopal, Amrita Bose, Ayesha Masood Khan, Tunmise Awojobi, Funmbi Adenubi, Nafees Ud Din, Muhammad Ali Mairaj, Sowmya Shetty, Sucharita Nanjappa, Nagaprasad Bellary, Kinga Bobis and A Ahamed.


Professor Marcenes
Professor in Oral Epidemiology

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
+44 (0)20 7882 8650

Centre for Clinical & Diagnostic Oral Sciences
5th Floor, Institute of Dentistry
Barts and the London School of Medicine & Dentistry
Turner Street
E1 2AD

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