Fourteen Thousand People Stuck on Dental Waiting List in Cornwall
New dental patients in Cornwall are facing up to eighteen months of waiting before they can register with an NHS dentist while the county faces a huge backlog for services, raising concerns that health and dental services are overstretched in the region, and leaving some residents travelling all the way to Devon to find a practice still accepting patients.
Various factors have been blamed, from a shortage of funds and a quota to providing contracted services that is too low for purpose, as well as a general uncertainty for the future careers dentists who trained in the European Union or overseas in the wake of negotiations surrounding the UK’s exit from the EU, which affects a total of a fifth of NHS dental services.
A spokesperson for NHS England noted that there are no practises available in Cornwall that can provide immediate access to a dentist for routine appointments, and also that quotas for dentists in the south west were being planned, however a shortage of dental practices have made it difficult to make more treatment hours available.
She also urged anyone who is affected and having difficulty finding an NHS dentist in Devon and Cornwall to call the NHS helpline.