Dentist with patient

South Derbyshire's Dental Crisis

Patients in South Derbyshire are having to wait weeks to see a dentist, more than 90% of practices are no longer accepting new patients. 

New figures from a BBC investigation has revealed 92% of dental practices in Derbyshire are not taking on new NHS patients.

The Liberal Democrats are calling for urgent action to fix the problem.

The Liberal Democrat Dental plan would guarantee people can see a dentist quickly and have access to regular checkups. And we’d reform and increase funding for the NHS dental contract to remove dental deserts

Image of Liberal Democrat dentistry plan document

Access to dental care for all

NHS figures which show the rise in "dental deserts" with more than half the areas in England see a rise in the number of patients each dentist has to see.

The latest figures show that fewer than one in two (44.8%) children saw an NHS dentist in the last year, while just one third of adults saw an NHS dentist in the last two years.

A poll commissioned by the Liberal Democrats last year revealed a staggering one in five (21%) people who failed to get an NHS dentist appointment in the past year turned to DIY dentistry.

This Conservative government has been asleep at the wheel for years and allowed this dental crisis to get worse and worse. We need to see action now to make sure everyone can see a dentist on the NHS when they need to. 

More Dentists for Derbyshire

We call on the Government to increase the number of NHS dental appointments available. In particular, we call on the Government to increase training places for new dentists, to reform the NHS dental contracts to make it easier to recruit experienced dentists to fill dental vacancies. We call on the health board to provide NHS dental opportunities for all parts of Derby and Derbyshire.

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Tooth decay is consistently the number one reason for hospital admissions among young children and children from the most deprived areas are already three times more likely to have hospital extractions than their peers.

It is high time the NHS dentist contract is reformed and plans brought forward to recruit more local NHS dentists, so no matter where you live you know you can get the NHS dental care you need.

Liberal Democrat dental policy puts forward our plan to fix NHS dental services:

  1. Reforming and increasing funding for the NHS dental services contract, to ensure it:
    • Encourages and incentivises dentists to take on NHS patients,
    • Meets patient need and demand rather than arbitrary targets,
    • Puts an end to ‘dental deserts’.
  2. Increasing the number of dentist training places in the UK and continued recognition of EU trained dentists’ qualifications.
  3. Writing into law proper workforce planning for health and social care, including projections for dentists and dental staff.
  4. Launching an emergency scheme to ensure children, pregnant women and young mothers have access to their free check ups on time.
  5. Supervised tooth brushing training for children in early years settings, such as nurseries.
  6. Removing VAT on children’s toothbrushes and children’s toothpaste.

Everyone should be able to access an NHS dentist if they need one and no-one should be forced to face an impossible choice, between paying hundreds of pounds for private care or going without. Our plan would fix this mess.

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