Bath MP claims NHS dentistry is at ‘breaking point’

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The MP for Bath claims NHS dentistry is at ‘breaking point’ in the city.

Wera Hobhouse, from the Liberal Democrats, criticised the government and suggested that ministers are ‘asleep at the wheel,’ as access issues in the city deepen. Bath is one of the worst areas in terms of dentist to patient ratios, with four NHS dentists per 10,000 patients.

Ms Hobhouse accused the government of “failing people across the country, but especially in Bath and North East Somerset.” She added that it was no surprise that more and more people are resorting to DIY dentistry because there is no alternative.

Ms Hobhouse was eager to stress that she does not blame dentists, who she says, have worked extremely hard under increasingly difficult conditions. The problem is the NHS dental system, which is “broken.”

There is a national shortage of NHS dental places, with patients across the country struggling to make appointments. The Covid-19 pandemic contributed to huge backlogs, with over 42 million appointments cancelled, and a lack of NHS dentists has exacerbated the issue. Figures show that around 3,000 dentists have left the NHS since 2020 making it incredibly tough for teams to tackle backlogs and offer patients appointments promptly.

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