Healthwatch England calls for recovery plan for NHS Dentistry

Healthwatch England have co-signed an open letter addressed to the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak calling for a recovery plan for NHS dentistry.

Healthwatch England have supported the British Dental Association in calling on the Chancellor of the exchequer to use the forthcoming government Spending Review to provide vital investment in NHS dentistry.  

Read the open letter from Sir Robert Francis QC, chair of Healthwatch England, and BDA chair Eddie Crouch.

Dental care for all who need it

Over the course of the pandemic, patients up and down the country have been unable to find care for themselves and their children, leaving them in pain and taking matters into their own hands.

  • From April to June 2021 public feedback was up 55% on the previous three months, and 794% higher when compared with the same period in 2020.
  • Nearly four in five people (79%) of those sharing their stories said they had found it difficult to access timely care.

 Sir Robert Francis QC said: 

“Lack of access to NHS dentistry has exploded as an issue for people over the last year, with both the volume of feedback and negative sentiment going through the roof.

“We’ve heard from patients up and down the country unable to find care, leaving them in pain and taking matters into their own hands.

“We’ve also heard from parents unable to register their children with an NHS dentist, as local dental practices weren’t taking on new patients, had gone private or had closed down.

“Every part of the country is facing a dental care crisis, with NHS dentistry at risk of vanishing into the void.

“The Government needs to use the forthcoming spending review to provide vital investment in services like dentistry that help keep us all healthy and ensure we build back better for current and future generations.”