Key Points

  • Decisions about whether to introduce a water fluoridation scheme to reduce tooth decay have always been made at a local level in the UK either by local authorities or by health authorities.
  • From 2013, the decision-making responsibility has rested with local authorities, as it did before 1974. Between 1974 and 2003, it rested with area and district health authorities, and between 2003 and 2013 with strategic health authorities.
  • Legislation requires a full public consultation lasting at least three months to be undertaken before a final decision about whether or not to fluoridate water supplies is made.
  • Water companies are required by law to accede to requests made by the ‘relevant authority’ to fluoridate specified water supplies.

One in a Million

Our One in a Million online database includes a comprehensive section on making decisions.

Summary of Data Published Post 2012/2013

  • Public Health England have published a detailed toolkit outlining the relevant primary and secondary legislation concerning community water fluoridation. The document lays out a step by step guide for local authorities wishing to commission new schemes.