A Member of Parliament has put forward a ‘five point blueprint’, with the ambition of bettering the current NHS dental crisis.
Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney, pitched his plan at a debate last week among backbench MPs.
He set out the idea, arguing that these are the areas that the government should prioritise. These include:
- Recruitment and retention
- Reforming NHS contracts
- Oral hygiene campaigns
- Accountability to local health authorities.
Reported by the Eastern Daily Press, he said: ‘Across the country, there is a multitude of dental deserts.
‘If we do nothing, if we apply the odd sticking plaster here and there, they will turn into one large Sahara.’
Will Quince, the government’s new dentistry minister, did not commit to supporting the proposals. Earlier this month, he also quashed calls for a new dental school in Norfolk.
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This comes as new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak faced questions on the future of NHS dentistry during his first PMQs.
Taking place this afternoon, Heather Wheeler, MP for South Derbyshire, called for better processes to allow overseas dentists and doctors to work in the UK.
Sunak insisted that the government is working to improve the registration process for overseas dentists.
‘I’m pleased that there are 3,500 more doctors and over 9,000 more nurses working this year than last,’ he said.
‘But she’s right – we are working to simplify the registration, for dentists in particular, that are not trained here to practise here. That’s how we will help to deliver a long-term workforce plan for the NHS and ensure everyone can get the care they need.’
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