Saturday, 23 May 2009

New Government figures expose crisis in NHS dentistry across Lincolnshire

Action needed to increase access to NHS dentists says Giles McNeill

New official figures published by the Government have revealed that a shocking number of people across Lincolnshire do not have access to an NHS dentist. In response, Giles McNeill today is calling for a series of reforms to ensure more patients can go to an NHS dentist, rather than force people to go private or miss out on treatment completely.

The latest NHS figures show that 49% of the population across Lincolnshire Primary Care Trust's area have not been seen by an NHS dentist in the last two years. [If relevant] Worse, 3,637 people have lost access to their NHS dentist in Lincolnshire since 2006.

Conservatives have announced a series of reforms to NHS dentistry which will improve NHS care. A comprehensive plan proposes:
• Creating new incentives for dentists to spend more time on preventative dental care, improving oral health and reducing long-term costs.
• Restoring access to an NHS dentist for the one million patients who have lost it under Labour’s failed system, by removing costly bureaucracy and cutting out waste.
• Using money currently spent on carrying out unnecessary treatments to reintroduce dental screening for children in schools.
• Ensuring that taxpayer-trained dentists work for the NHS for at least five years.

Giles said:
"The Labour Government is leaving a terrible dental legacy which will be difficult to fix. A million people have lost their NHS dentist in just three years, and 49% of the population across Lincolnshire are without an NHS dentist.

"Dentists are fed up with the flawed system that Labour have introduced. As a result, local residents to have to travel miles to see an NHS dentist, or else pay to go private to receive the treatment they need.

"Conservatives will help restore access to an NHS dentist, and spend more on preventative treatment to help avoid tooth decay. We need to tackle the worrying number of people needing to have their teeth pulled out."

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