Dewsbury MP criticises NHS dental fee increase
The MP for Dewsbury, Mirfield and Kirkburton has criticised the government after it was revealed that NHS dental fees will increase by up to 5% on April 1st.
The Department of Health confirmed that charges for dental services will increase in England. The cost of a check-up and other band 1 treatments will rise by £1.10 to £22.70, and band 2 and 3 treatments will also be more expensive. The move has been slammed by the British Dental Association and the Oral Health Foundation, and Paula Sherriff MP has also questioned the announcement.
Miss Sherriff has previously addressed the subject of dental health in her constituency in the House of Commons and called for more investment in NHS services in the region to improve access and stem rising rates of decay. Recently, the charity Dentaid visited Dewsbury to provide care for people who cannot afford to go to the dentist, and Miss Sherriff said that increasing fees will only serve to make it even harder for local people to afford to see a dentist on a regular basis.
Speaking about the price hike, Miss Sherriff said that she was concerned about the impact on patients, especially those who already struggle to afford dental care. At a time when household budgets are already stretched, it’s likely that dental care is something that will be sacrificed by those looking to make savings and survive from one payday to the next. Without regular routine checks and the ability to seek help for minor issues, the risk of more complex dental problems, which cost even more to treat, increases.
Dr Nigel Carter OBE, chief executive of the Oral Health Foundation, called for a dramatic U-turn by the government to make NHS dental more affordable and accessible.
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