Rosie Cooper MP has today harshly criticised NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care for failing to support NHS dentistry. Not only in Rosie’s West Lancashire constituency, but across the country, people are finding that there are no available places on NHS Dentist’s lists.
People are being advised that they could be waiting years in the queue to get a place on an NHS dentist’s register and elsewhere there have even been reports of practices removing hundreds of NHS patients from their list.
Throughout the height of the pandemic many dental practices, both NHS and private, voiced their concerns about the lack of support they were given. They felt that with the restrictions that were placed on the delivery of dental procedures, NHS treatment was becoming an unviable business model, leaving them seriously considering ending their NHS contract to focus on private patients.
Rosie Cooper MP commented:
“During the pandemic I wrote to The Secretary of State for Health and Chief Dental Officer repeatedly to raise this exact issue, as I had heard firsthand from a number of dentists about the pressures they were facing!
“I am aware that this issue has also been raised by the British Dental Association and other MPs, yet it appears the NHS’ failure to take this seriously has resulted in a national crisis.
“Worryingly, without enough NHS dentists available the people that can’t pay the much higher private costs will have no way to access dental care until they have an emergency.
“Are we really allowing this to become a medieval system where some people can only get treatment when they need an emergency tooth extraction.
“We cannot allow there to be a cost barrier to accessing important health care like dental treatment. The Government need to urgently take steps to increase NHS dental capacity, or risk this crisis becoming another full scale disaster!”