Neil Carmichael, Chair of the Association of Dental Groups (ADG) has responded to The Times newspaper report “NHS want to double medical school places” with a call for new dental school places in the East of England where access to NHS dentistry is at crisis point to form part of the NHS Workforce Plan.
The ADG supports the creation of a new dental school in the East of England to tackle the geographical imbalance in England’s existing dental schools, coupled with new post graduate training places in the same parts of the UK where oral health inequalities are at their worse.
The ADG has previously called for an increase in the number of UK training places for dentists and incentives for NHS dentists to move to areas with poorer access to dentistry such as Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, but also the South coast around the Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and in Cornwall.
Neil Carmichael, Chair of the ADG, said:
“The Government has recognised the need to train more doctors and nurses, but we need more than this. As the NHS integrates care systems a long term workforce plan for the whole healthcare workforce is required including lifting the current cap on places at existing dental schools who have capacity to train more students and a new school where it is needed most in the East of England.
“NHS dentistry provision is suffering from acute recruitment problems in many areas of the country the Government wishes to level up. A national recruitment drive for dentistry highlighting the opportunities in many parts of the country for those who want to make a difference is part of the solution.”