- Dentistry is an essential part of NHS healthcare, and everyone who needs it should be able to access NHS dentistry and receive treatment quickly and easily when they need to keep their teeth and mouth healthy.
- That is why the Conservative Government are publishing its NHS Dental Recovery Plan, setting out a package of measures to deliver 2.5 million additional NHS dental appointments where they are needed, including locally in Taunton Deane.
- The Conservative Government is delivering on their long-term plan to improve access to dentistry by making it faster, simpler and fairer to provide the care patients need.
Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow has welcomed the launch of the Conservative Government’s NHS Dental Recovery Plan, as part of its long-term plan to improve access to NHS dentistry and deliver on the Prime Minister’s commitment to cut waiting lists.
Backed by £200 million of new Government funding, the plan sets out a package of measures to deliver 2.5 million additional NHS dental appointments over the next 12 months, ensuring they are where they needed most, and expanding preventative care for younger children to help reduce tooth decay.
To help improve access in the short term, new dental vans are being launched to help reach more isolate communities, including rural and coastal areas. In the longer term, 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, helping to attract new NHS dentists and improve provision of care in areas with the highest demand.
Further measures include introducing a New Patient Premium payment to incentivise dentists to treat around a million new patients who have not seen an NHS dentist in two years or more. The scheme will be introduced within weeks, ensuring that patients can benefit immediately. The minimum value of activity will also increase from £23 to £28 and high-performing practices will also be able to deliver extra work on top of their contracted activity, ensuring that NHS work is more attractive to dental teams.
Trainee dental places will be expanded by 40 per cent as part of the first ever NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, as the Conservative Government looks to target the expansion into areas of the country which are underserved by the dental workforce.
Expanded prevention care is also being rolled out for younger children to help reduce tooth decay and improve the nation’s oral health. The Smile for Life programme will offer parents-to-be further advice for baby gums and milk teeth with babies and toddlers in nurseries having tooth brushing as part of the daily routine, so that every child in primary school will see tooth brushing as a normal part of their day.
The Government will consult on wider reforms to the dental workforce and contract in 2024, taking the long-term decisions to ensure that dental services can be there for families for the years to come.
The Conservative Government is delivering its plan to improve access to NHS dentistry and cut waiting lists, ensuring that we build a brighter and healthier future for everyone.
Commenting, Rebecca Pow MP said:
“I welcome the launch of this plan which is long overdue. I’ve met with many constituents and received much correspondence in terms of highlighting the lack of access to NHS dental provision in Taunton Deane. I met with the Dental Minister, Andrea Leadsom, last week and made no bones about saying that many of my constituents were facing a completely unacceptable situation. I worked with Government to feed in many proposals as to how to improve the situation on the ground and I am delighted to see many of these measures will now be delivered through this new plan. Everyone should be able to access NHS dentistry quickly and easily, and this plan will help to address many of the problems my constituents have faced in recent years. This new plan delivers immediate and long-term change to improve access to NHS dentistry and will help ensure that everyone can access the right care and stay healthy for years to come. I will work with Government to ensure that my constituents benefit from the range of measures that have been announced.”
Health and Social Care Secretary, Victoria Atkins MP 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.”