Robert Largan MP has welcomed the Government’s new NHS Dental Recovery Plan, which is set to create millions more NHS dental treatments over the next year, with easier and faster access to NHS dental care across England.
Published this week by the NHS and the Government, the plan will see over 2.5 million additional NHS dental treatments delivered for patients over the next 12 months, alongside targeted measures to improve the nation’s oral health including expanding prevention care for younger children to help reduce tooth decay.
To attract new NHS dentists and improve access to care in areas with the highest demand, around 240 dentists will be offered one-off payments of up to £20,000 for working in under-served areas for up to three years.
The public will also be able to see which practices in their local area are accepting new patients on the NHS website and the NHS App. To promote the increased availability of appointments, the government will also roll out a marketing campaign encouraging anyone who has not been seen by a dentist for the past two years to access treatment.
NHS work will also be made more attractive to dental teams with the minimum value of activity increasing to £28 (from £23).
New ways of delivering care in rural and coastal areas will also be rolled out, including launching ‘dental vans’ to help reach the most isolated communities.
The health service will build a pipeline of new dentists and other dental care professionals, including increasing dental training places by up to 40% by 2031/32, as part of the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan.
The plan also includes new measures to attract dentists to work in the NHS, including supporting more graduate dentists to work in NHS care. The Government will consult on whether dentists should be required to work in the NHS for a period upon completion of their training.
Commenting, Robert Largan, MP for High Peak, said:
I have long campaigned for a serious drive to improve both the recruitment and the retention of NHS dentists. I am pleased that the Government is taking serious action on this with the new Dental Recovery Plan.
I know from my experience and from talking with constituents just how hard it has been to access NHS dentistry in the High Peak. I will continue to push to make sure that the Dental Recovery Plan brings the improvements we need in our area.
Commenting, Health and Social Care Secretary, Victoria Atkins, said:
Dentistry is a priority for this government. I know from my experience representing a rural and coastal constituency in Lincolnshire how frustrating it is for people who cannot get a dentist appointment, especially after the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on dentistry. We have seen big improvements over the past year, but now we are going much further.
I’m determined to deliver faster, simpler and fairer access to NHS dentistry for patients – and this plan will help anyone who has not been able to see a dentist in the past two years to do so.
The long-term decisions we are taking will help ensure that good oral health is available to all, wherever you live and whatever your background.