NHS dentistry a top concern for voters, poll suggests

A recent Yougov survey has indicated that NHS dentistry is a top concern for voters in the run up to the upcoming general election.

The survey, which was carried out on behalf of the British Dental Association (BDA), asked participants for the most important issues facing their local area at this time. Nearly a third of respondents (28%) said local dentistry services, putting it higher than crime (24%), public transport (15) and schools and education (11%).

The issues which scored higher than dentistry were road maintenance (42%), GP services (40%) and affordable housing (36%).

In addition, the respondents said dentistry is the least accessible NHS service, with 71% saying it’s difficult to access. This is compared to GPs (64%) and A&E (42%).

One in five (21%) also said they have had tooth or mouth pain ‘for extended periods’ since lockdown, with 7% having attempted DIY dentistry.

On government action, some 80% said it should be doing more to improve NHS dentistry, with 9% believing it is doing all it ‘reasonably can’.

This comes as a number of dental professionals have shared what they would like to see in party manifestos.

Voters risk losing NHS dentistry

Following these statistics, the BDA has called on the parties to offer ‘real urgency and ambition’ to save NHS dentistry. It also said parties will be ‘hit’ at the ballot box if they fail to propose credible plans to save the service.

BDA chair Eddie Crouch has said: ‘NHS dentistry is now a top issue on the doorstep because millions have no options.

‘Access and cost of living crises have collided, and thus far Government hasn’t stepped up to the plate.

‘Politicians might lose their seats if they fail to act, but voters risk losing this service for good.’

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from Yougov Plc. Total sample size was 1,707 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 28-29 May 2024. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all adults in England (aged 18+).

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