MPs inquiry into NHS dentistry is a “blueprint” for election manifestos

The ADG has welcomed the Health and Social Care Select Committee report on NHS dentistry published today as a blueprint for the political parties General Election manifestos for the next Government to secure a sustainable future for NHS dental services.

Today’s report from the Health and Social Care Committee describes evidence of pain and distress due to being unable to see an NHS dentist as ‘totally unacceptable in the 21st century’. MPs cite frustration that recommendations for reform made by their predecessor Committee 15 years ago have still not been implemented. They brand the current contract, which pays dentists for NHS ‘units of dental activity’ (UDAs), as not fit for purpose.

The Committee also concludes the current backlog of overseas clinicians waiting to sit the Overseas Registration Examination (ORE) is “unacceptable” and calls on the General Dental Council and the Government to “speed up the changes to the process of international registration for new applicants seeking to work in the NHS”.

Neil Carmichael, Chair of the ADG said;

“With access to NHS dentistry now one of the top issues in MPs constituency postbags, the inquiry has provided the opportunity for politicians on a cross party basis to map out a future for NHS dentistry which will improve access.” 

“Access to NHS dentistry and dental deserts in England have become a doorstep issue in by elections across the country this month.  This cross party report provides a blueprint for parties to address the issue in their manifestos for the General Election.  The solution to the workforce crisis is clear – the Government needs to act now to recruit more overseas clinicians and invest in the long term in our dental schools to boost dentist numbers.”