Times reporters reveal millions are missing out on NHS dental care
An investigation by The Times has revealed that millions of people in the UK are missing out on NHS dental care.
Research carried out by reporters shows that there are currently no dental practices taking on new NHS patients in 24 local authorities in England. The information was obtained from the NHS Choices website, which contains information about practices and surgeries across the country.
Chief executive of the Patients Association, Rachel Power, said that there are significant variations in access to NHS dental care across the country and added that it wasn’t right that patients were being informed that they couldn’t join NHS dental registers.
Dentists claim that there is a lack of funding available for NHS dental care and this is contributing to a lack of places for patients. The demand for NHS dental treatment is growing, and there simply aren’t enough places to go around. There’s also concern that the situation will become worse, as studies have suggested that a large proportion of NHS dentists are planning to retire or leave the profession in the next five years. Patients who miss out on routine dental care also face a higher risk of more complex dental problems.
Reporters also discovered that of the practices that were offering NHS places, almost half were only offering appointments for children.
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