NHS dentistry: primary care minister suggested £10 ‘monthly insurance’ fee


Andrea Leadsom has previously put forward a £10 ‘insurance scheme’ fee for NHS dentistry, reports have suggested.

According to Health Service Journal, the junior health minister made the suggestion in April – before the election was called – at meetings with the Department of Health and Social Care.

At one of the meetings, a possible charge of £10 per month was mentioned, reports say, which would allow those who pay it access to care such as regular check-ups.

A health source familiar with the proposal said it was framed as ‘some kind of pre-payment or quid pro quo’. However, the Conservative Party ruled out the policy on Friday, the Telegraph reported.

Leadsom recently announced that she will not be standing as MP in the upcoming general election.

Biggest priority

The news comes as a recent Yougov survey indicates that NHS dentistry is a top concern for voters.

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 one third of respondents (28%) said local dentistry services, putting it higher than crime (24%), public transport (15) and schools and education (11%).

The issues that 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%).

Following these statistics, the BDA has called on the parties to offer ‘real urgency and ambition’ to save NHS dentistry.

It said parties will be ‘hit’ at the ballot box if they fail to propose credible plans.

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

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