Everything dentistry needs to know about Liz Truss’s government

Everything dentistry needs to know about Liz Truss

Liz Truss is now the new UK Prime Minister after weeks of campaigning to take over as leader of the Conservative Party.  

On Monday, Liz Truss beat Rishi Sunak to the role after receiving 81,326 votes (57.4%) of Tory members to the former Chancellor’s 60,399 (42.6%).

She takes over at a time of economic crisis, with the looming recession casting the UK’s finances into question.

But what are her views on dentistry and her government’s plans for its future?

Act with urgency

During the leadership battle, Truss said comparatively little about NHS dentistry compared to Sunak.

Revealing his own personal dental struggles, Sunak pledged to take action. Speaking at the time, he said: ‘My five point plan will be activated on day one to free up dentistry professionals to do their jobs, encourage NHS trained dentists to stay in the NHS, and focus on prevention as that is always better than the cure.’

In August, however, Truss did made it clear that improving access to GP and dental appointments was one of her ‘top three priorities’ during her first 90 days in office.

The BDA has already made calls for the government to act with urgency. Chair Eddie Crouch said: ‘These three politicians will determine whether NHS dentistry has a future.’

New Health Secretary

Truss has made a number of new appointments in the cabinet in a bid to tackle the challenges she faces. This includes Thérèse Coffey, who has been appointed Health Secretary and, as a result, has the task of fixing the NHS.

Taking to Twitter, Coffey – who is also Deputy Prime Minister – emphasised that dentistry was among her priorities.

She wrote: ‘I am honoured to be asked to serve as SoS for Health and Social Care. Patients are my top priority, as we focus on ABCD – ambulances, backlogs, care, doctors and dentists.’

Dentistry’s top stories

According to a report by The Guardian, earlier this week former Health Secretary Steve Barclay – who held the role until Truss’s reshuffle – took steps to improve overseas NHS recruitment in the face of the current workforce crisis.

He hoped the move will help thousands of health professionals work in the UK by making it easier for medical regulators to register those who qualified abroad.

Whether Coffey will continue these efforts going forward is yet to be confirmed.

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