New data reveals more than 200 Sussex children are on waiting lists for specialist dental treatment
New data has revealed that more than 200 children in Sussex are on waiting lists for specialist dental treatment.
Figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats via a Freedom of Information request show that hundreds of children are waiting for complex dental treatment, which cannot be provided by conventional high street practices. The average waiting time is now over three months for treatment for issues such as tooth decay with a 4-month wait for treatment under general anaesthetic.
James MacCleary, parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Democrats in Lewes, said that it was ‘heartbreaking’ to think of children who are suffering waiting for months on end to get the treatment they need. As a parent of two children, he added, he sympathised with parents and urged the government to take immediate action to improve the situation. The party claims that a cash injection worth more than £400 million is required to overcome the immediate challenges facing NHS dental services.
Studies show that tooth decay was already the most common cause of hospital admissions among UK children before the pandemic hit. Since Covid lockdowns and periods of restrictions, dental waiting lists have increased hugely, with the demand for appointments and services far outweighing the supply. Teams are trying to clear vast backlogs and figures from the British Dental Association suggest that over 3,000 dentists have left the NHS in the last three years.
National figures showed that there were more than 27,000 children waiting for specialist dental treatment in January 2023 in England.
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