Councillors bid to prioritise dental care in Cumbria

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Councillors in Cumbria are looking to prioritise dental care in a move that will see them take on new commissioning responsibilities. 

Cumbria County Council is working more closely with NHS England to try and improve access to NHS dental services. Currently, the region is struggling to support the demand for NHS dental care, with many patients forced to travel long distances to see an NHS dentist. The council will assume commissioning powers in a move that aims to create “independent care communities.”

Talking about the developments, Cllr Patricia Bell, highlighted dentistry as a “really important area” and said that it was essential to target services that are lagging behind. Access to oral care is an issue, and councillors will also be working to improve sight and vision services. 

Speaking at a full council meeting, Cllr Bell was responding to a question from fellow Liberal Democrat councillor, Stan Collins, who asked about improvements that could be made to tackle the alarming shortage of NHS places. Studies have shown that poor oral health elevates the risk of a series of health problems, Mr Collins stated, and the council should be aware of the potential impact of limited access when working on future commissioning projects. 

The council supports working with NHS England to try and identify and implement solutions that will create more places and enable more people to see a local NHS dentist in the near future.

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