Neil Carmichael, Chair of the ADG has hailed the “Smiles at Sea” harbourside tour of Cornwall and Devon as an example of “levelling up health” in action and called on the Government to look to support more outreach programmes in reforming NHS dentistry.
Joining the “Smiles at Sea” tour on its stop at Brixham Harbour in Devon today Neil said;
“Good health enables an individual to participate fully in society and must be a part of levelling up the UK. There is a crisis in access to dentistry in our rural and coastal communities which will only be solved by two actions – reforming NHS dentistry to enable more work such as “Smiles at Sea” to be delivered and recruiting more dentists to the parts of the country where they are most needed . Government must provide incentives for NHS dentists to move to areas with poorer access to dentistry such as Cornwall.”
Smiles at Sea is an award-winning programme having won Best Outreach or Charity Initiative in the national Dental Awards 2019 and shortlisted as Project of the Year in the Third Sector Business Charity Awards 2020. This year it is being entirely funded by Smile Together and delivered in partnership with The Fisherman’s Mission and Healthy Cornwall.
Fisherfolk and their families have been offered free dental checks, emergency treatment and oral cancer screening in four fishing ports across Cornwall and Devon all this week thanks to Smile Together Dental CIC. Treatments will relieve any immediate dental problems including simple tooth extraction, permanent fillings and scale and polish with referrals through NHS routes where more complex oral surgery is required.
The ADG is calling for Government incentives for NHS dentists to move to areas with poorer access to dentistry along the South Coast including Cornwall, the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth, but also the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire coastlines.