Call now on0800 051 8069
There have been multiple reports recently in relation to NHS dentistry being at breaking point. A new article by the MailOnline has described NHS dentistry as being in its ‘death throes’ sparking fresh concern from the public. Statistics show that …
There have been multiple reports recently in relation to NHS dentistry being at breaking point. A new article by the MailOnline has described NHS dentistry as being in its ‘death throes’ sparking fresh concern from the public. Statistics show that in certain counties in England there is a significant shortage of NHS dentists available. As such, we are left with dentistry deserts across the country.
NHS dentistry has faced difficulties for some time, but this has been exacerbated by the pandemic and we are still seeing the effects now. The Chairman of the British Dental Association (BDA) has told the MailOnline that “the clock is ticking on NHS dentistry, and millions stand to lose out” describing the service as “underfunded and overstretched”.
Dentists across the country are noted to be leaving the NHS due to underfunding and long working hours which are affecting their mental health. Dentistry is associated with high levels of stress and professional burnout. Therefore, we are seeing less NHS dentists available.
As a result of these issues, access to NHS dentistry has become very limited.
A BBC investigation published in August 2022, indicated that 9 in 10 NHS dental practices across the UK are not accepting new adult patients for treatment. Many were noted to have driven hundreds of miles to find treatment and even taken matters into their own hands by pulling out their own teeth and making their own dentures, as they cannot afford private treatment. These DIY treatments are proving to make matters worse and can be very dangerous, however people are being left with no choice.
In January 2022, NHS England announced that an extra £50 million was made available to help provide 350,000 dental appointments nationwide, including evenings and weekends in February and March 2022. Despite this, the NHS dentistry system remains in significant crisis.
The Department of Health told the MailOnline that they were investing more than £3 billion a year to improve access to dental care and that they had changed the dental contract to ensure that dentists are paid for more complex work and are treating the maximum number of patients possible.
It is hoped that this will help to ease the strain the NHS dentistry system is under, but can our government really deliver the necessary proposals for change? If so, will these suggested reforms have a real impact? If you have suffered from any failure by your dentist to diagnose or treat your dental problems or faced an unreasonable delay in receiving dental care, please contact the Dental Negligence Team who will be happy to assist and advise on the prospects of bringing a dental negligence claim.