Something in the Water: Opening the public health law policy window for fluoridation?

Keith J Syrett*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


Alongside the more widely debated provisions relating to the organisation and delivery of healthcare services in the National Health Service in England, the Health and Care Act 2022 contains measures relating to public health. This article offers a critical examination of one of these, that relating to fluoridation of water supplies. The nature of this intervention as a response to problems of poor oral health is considered, and the changes made by the 2022 Act are explained. It is argued that there are clear reasons for altering the statutory framework, but that it is less immediately apparent why this development is taking place at this point in time. In order to answer this question, John Kingdon’s concept of a ‘policy window’ is deployed as a framework for understanding agenda-setting in this context. Additionally, this can facilitate analysis of the future likelihood of use of the powers conferred by the 2022 Act in this controversial area of public health.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)664-688
Number of pages25
JournalNorthern Ireland Legal Quarterly
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2024

Structured keywords

  • Centre for Health, Law and Society


Dive into the research topics of 'Something in the Water: Opening the public health law policy window for fluoridation?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this