The Department is consulting on the process local authorities will use to conduct consultations on fluoridation of drinking water. We are not consulting on the benefits or disadvantages of fluoridation.
This consultation is an opportunity for the Department to obtain the views of local authorities, NHS commissioners, public health professionals, service providers, equality representatives and all other interested parties on the future arrangements for consulting on proposals for fluoridation schemes.
Under the Health and Social Care Act 2012, responsibility for conducting consultations on proposals for new fluoridation schemes, or the variation or termination of existing fluoridation schemes, will transfer to local authorities from 1 April 2013.
Responding to the consultation
We propose a number of options in the consultation document and, in most cases, our consultation questions relate to the options we have considered. As a general principle, we have sought to minimise the level of prescription to ensure that the system works effectively without major risk of legal challenge.
Any decision to take further policy action on proposals for fluoridation schemes will only be taken after we have fully considered responses to the consultation, evidence and other relevant information. These will inform the drafting of new regulations for the fluoridation of drinking water, which we intend to come into effect from April 2013.
The consultation closes on 27 November 2012.