New report highlights lack of access to NHS dentistry

Dental / Dental Practitioner News

English patients are currently being affected by a lack of access to NHS dentistry, according to a new report.

An investigation by the Times has shown that in 24 local authorities in England dentists can only take on private patients at the moment, with 49 percent of surgeries with information on NHS Choices currently unable to take on new adult NHS patients, while 42 percent are unable to see any new children at all.

“A significant number of local authorities in England are currently unable to take on any more NHS patients, according to a new report.“

Areas such as West Devon, North Lincolnshire, Gosport and Barrow-in-Furness were cited among those that are unable to take on any adult NHS patients, with the British Dental Association (BDA) attributing this issue to a lack of funding.

Specifically, it pointed to recent efforts to encourage greater childhood dental attendance that are being undermined by the fact that overall budgets have not been increased.

The BDA's general dental practice chair Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen said: "Work on expanding access and encouraging child attendance is vital, but it is disingenuous to suggest that government plans can achieve this. Without new resources, NHS dentists are being asked to swap one group of patients for another."

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