MP calls for change amidst ‘frightening’ access troubles in dentistry

A Member of Parliament has warned of the 'frightening' access troubles plaguing dentistry as the pandemic continuesA Member of Parliament has warned of the ‘frightening’ access troubles plaguing dentistry as the pandemic continues. 

James Wild, representative for north west Norfolk, is fighting for better support for the profession as constituents struggle to access NHS dentistry.

Speaking to BBC Radio Norfolk, he says COVID-19 has deepened the severity of the situation in the area.

‘We need short-term plans but also medium and long-term solutions,’ he said.

Pleas for help

This follows the closure of an NHS dental practice in his constituency, reports Lynn News. In an online survey set up by Mr Wild, only 65% reported having a dentist.

Last week, MPs debated the impact of COVID-19 on dentistry, with several pleas for better support.

MP Jane Hunt was among the MPs to speak out. She praised the dental profession for their efforts, revealing that she had to undergo urgent care twice during the pandemic.

Equally considered

‘The added dimension is that should dental practices miss the targets by as little as 1%, they receive considerably less revenue for the work they have already carried out,’ she said.

‘Dentists are also given no leeway for any cancellations and no shows in their contract. Even though this may lead to those missed targets.’

In addition, Jo Churchill – parliamentary under-secretary for health and social care – vocalised her worries. She pushed for patients and dental practices to be equally considered.

Author’s analysis

As the third national lockdown continues, it appears more and more MPs (and from both sides of the house) are standing up for the profession.

It’s parliamentary debates and voices like these that are crucial if dentistry is to stay on the government agenda.

But it is unknown just how long this lockdown will last. Because of this, it’s vital the profession continues to band together and push for their plight to be heard, not buried.

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