Conservative leadership candidate Rishi Sunak says he will ‘restore’ NHS dentistry if he becomes the next British Prime Minister.
But the British Dental Association (BDA) stress that the next UK leader needs to commit to urgent reform to fix the crisis.
Today, Rishi Sunak said he will ringfence funding, strengthen prevention and encourage dentists to stay in the NHS. This, he believes, will help to alleviate the ‘unprecedented pressure’ dentistry is under.
His plans include an ‘early intervention’ programme involving checkups in primary schools.
Leadership rival Liz Truss has also said that fixing the access crisis in GP and dental services would be among the top three priorities in her first 90 days in office.
Need for change
This follows revealing BBC investigation revealed that NHS dentistry is at breaking point.
Findings show that nine in 10 NHS dental practices across the UK are not accepting new adult patients for treatment. In addition, eight in 10 NHS practices are not taking on new children for treatment.
The BDA dubbed it ‘the the most extensive survey of patient access ever undertaken’.
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After a decade of cuts, the BDA estimate it would take an extra £880 million each year to restore funding to 2010 levels.
BDA chair Eddie Crouch said: ‘Whoever takes up the reigns in Downing Street must act to end a crisis affecting millions. We need deeds, not words.
‘The constituents of both leadership contenders have next to no options. The same applies to families in every corner of this country.
‘This can’t be another exercise in rearranging the deckchairs. Any progress will require real reform and fair funding.’
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