New campaign Toothless in Southampton calls for improved NHS dentistry access


The creation of a new local campaign group, Toothless in Southampton, has been announced by Toothless in England.

To emphasise the predicament of Southampton residents who have suffered due to the deficiency of access to NHS dentistry, the campaign calls for 'An NHS dentist for everyone'.

“The creation of a new local campaign group, Toothless in Southampton, has been announced by Toothless in England.“

This arises as fewer practices within the area carry out NHS dental treatments. Consequently, patients have begun taking matters into their own hands, for example, pulling out their teeth.

After both practices in Leiston closed in Suffolk in 2021, the first Toothless in England campaign was set up. Consequently, over five thousand residents were left without local access to an NHS dentist. Toothless in England has six main demands:

1. NHS dental treatments to be free at the point of use

2. An NHS dentist for everyone

3. No more privatisation - people to be prioritised before shareholder dividend

4. An end to the two-tier system – hygienists, routine check-ups and preventative treatments must be a core NHS function.

5. Reforms to the NHS dental contract that will encourage dentists to provide NHS treatments

6. Revenue to cover the 50% of the population that are unfunded by the government

The campaign coordinator, Mark Jones, stated: "People have simply had enough of not being able to see a dentist when they need one urgently, or for regular check-ups. They are organising themselves and forming local Toothless groups. The government cannot continue ignoring Southampton's oral health needs. We all want an NHS dentist, and we won't stop until everyone gets one."

Eddie Crouch, leader of the British Dental Association (BDA), has stated: "NHS dentistry is on the brink, and families across Southampton are paying the price. Underfunded and overstretched, the service is now haemorrhaging talent, while families are unable to secure the care they desperately need. This is a crisis made in Westminster. Until ministers deliver real reform and fair funding, we will not see progress."

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