NHS to get £28m to improve dental access

Andrew Lansley has announced extra cash for dentistry in a major government drive to increase the number of people able to access an NHS dentist.

820,000 more people have already been given access to an NHS dentist since May 2010.

Today £28 million of funding will be announced, which will bring the number of extra people now able to access an NHS dentist to one million.

The funding will be given to PCTs, who have bid for the cash to spend on expanding local services in ways that best meet their patients’ needs. This will include things like:

• Increasing the number of appointments with NHS dentists
• Providing care in people’s homes for people who can’t travel to see an NHS dentist.

Health secretary, Andrew Lansley, said: ‘Too many people still have problems getting to see an NHS dentist. Giving people back their NHS dentist is a key priority of mine so I am delighted that we have been able to find more money for dentistry because of our successful programme of efficiency savings in the NHS.

‘This is a great example of how the money we are saving through better management of money, cutting bureaucracy and rooting out waste in the NHS is being reinvested in frontline services for patients.’

The extra funding is part of the government’s drive to improve oral health and increase access to NHS dentists.

A key part of this is the government’s commitment to replace the current dentist contract with one that supports dentists to improve oral health and increase access to services.

Alison Simpson, a dentist who runs a dental practice in Northampton said: ‘This is fantastic news for people who couldn’t get to see an NHS dentist before.

‘We will use the money to make sure that an extra thousand people in the Northampton area will get access to NHS dental care. This means local people will have healthier teeth, and will be less likely to suffer from long-term dental problems.’

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