Appendix L. Consent letter and form. To be added to headed notepaper – minor modifications are acceptable, local details to be added, version control processes (eg. dating the form or adding a version number) should also be adopted.
Public Health England dental public health epidemiology programme, oral health survey of five-year-old children, 2016-17.
We would like your child to take part in our annual survey which will help us to improve dental health services across England for children. Before you consent to your child taking part we would like you to understand why the survey is being carried out and what it will involve.
The information in this letter sets out why we are doing this survey, what it involves for your child and how we will use the information recorded or obtained about them.
What is the purpose of this study?
The aim of the survey is to measure the level of dental caries (tooth decay or cavities) among five-year-old children within each local authority area. This will enable us to compare the dental health of children in your local authority area with others in England, as well as compare results between different subgroups such as ethnic groups.
The findings of the survey will be published in a report and possibly in a scientific journal in such a way that no child who took part can be identified. The report will appear at the following website which also contains reports of previous surveys of children and other groups in the population: http://www.nwph.net/dentalhealth/.
This report will provide information for local authorities, the NHS and other organisations involved in monitoring, commissioning and planning services which will improve the dental health of children in your area. This year we are also looking to investigate the relationship between levels of dental decay and height and weight measures. More information on how we will do this follows.
Why has my child been chosen?
The school your child attends has been chosen at random. In small schools we select all children in this age group to be examined, and in larger schools we take a random sample of one in two or one in three children.
Do I have to consent to my child taking part?
It is entirely up to you. If you are happy for your child to take part then your consent will be required by completing the consent form included with this letter. You can also withdraw your consent at any time if you change your mind and details on how to do this are on the consent form.
What will happen if I consent to my child taking part?
The survey is planned to take place on ………………..
The children taking part will have a simple examination at their school when a dental therapist and assistant who are trained to do this work will visit. The dental therapist will use fresh disposable gloves and sterilised mirrors for each child. This simple check takes only a few minutes. We would be pleased to see you at the school if you would like to be present.
No treatment will be provided, just a quick examination. All children still need to visit their own dentist for regular check-ups.
This website contains further details of how this year’s survey will be conducted: http://www.nwph.net/dentalhealth/
How will you use data about my child if they participate?
Your child’s information will be combined with data from over 100,000 other children who will also have taken part in the survey.
As part of the survey we will be asking the school to share personal information they already have, including name, date of birth and home postcode. Dental staff involved in the study will have access to this information along with the results of the dental examination, and this identifiable information will also be sent to the national Public Health England centre where only staff conducting the analysis will have access.
We will also share this data with NHS Digital (formerly the Health and Social Care Information Centre) to allow them to link the survey data with a dataset they hold containing height and weight information from the National Child Measurement Programme. To ensure that the data we are linking is up to date, we’ll use the Personal Demographic System to verify your child’s personal information. We’ll use the system to be notified of any changes to your child’s name or address. This information will be used for data linkage purposes only and not to contact you or your child. Once data has been linked, all identifying information will be destroyed before the linked dataset is passed back to Public Health England for analysis. This will allow better understanding about dental decay and height and weight to see if they are connected. Once this analysis has been completed the linked dataset will be destroyed.
At all times, the information about your child will be stored electronically with appropriate and adequate security measures in place.
How can I find out more information?
Contact details are given at the end of this letter so please ask us if there is anything that is not clear or if you would like more information.
Further information on how Public Health England can be found at:
Information specifically on how Public Health England deals with patient data is available at the following website and a fair processing leaflet can also be downloaded from the ‘further information’ section.
Further information about the National Child Measurement Programme can be found at:
Further information about NHS Digital can be found at:
Further information about the Personal Demographic Service can be found at:
Thank you for reading this information sheet. If you have any questions please contact ……………
I have read and understood the information in the invitation letter about the Public Health England dental public health epidemiology programme, oral health survey of five-year-old children, 2016-17.
My child’s name is (insert full name)………………………………….. Class ………
Please tick one box in Section 1 and one box in Section 2:
Section 1 - Dental Survey
I do consent to my child taking part in the dental survey and undergoing a simple dental examination
I do not consent to my child taking part in the dental survey and undergoing a simple dental examination
If you wish to withdraw your consent to your child taking part in the dental survey at any time please contact the school or use the contact details given below.
Section 2 - Data Linkage
I do consent to information about my child from the dental survey being safely linked by NHS Digital to the National Child Measurement Programme Data.
I do not consent to information about my child from the dental survey being safely linked by NHS Digital to the National Child Measurement Programme Data.
If you wish to withdraw your consent to your child’s data being used for this linkage work at any time then please use the contact details given below.
Signed…………………………………………(Parent or Legal Guardian) Date …………
Full Name (block capitals) ……………………………………………
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