Nusrat Ghani, MP for Wealden, has welcomed the launch of the Government’s NHS Dental Recovery Plan to deliver faster, simpler and fairer access to NHS Dentistry.
Backed by £200 million of new Government funding, the plan sets out a package of measures to deliver 2.5 million additional NHS dental appointments over the next 12 months, improving access to NHS dentistry and delivering on its commitment to cut waiting lists.
To help improve access in the short term, new dental vans are being launched to help reach more isolated communities, including in rural and coastal areas. In the longer term, around 240 dentists will be offered one-off payments of up to £20,000 for working in under-served areas for up to three years, helping to attract new NHS dentists and improve provision of care in areas with the highest demand.
Further measures include introducing within weeks a New Patient Premium payment to incentivise dentists to treat around a million new patients who have not seen an NHS dentist in two years or more, and as part of the first ever NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, trainee dental places will be expanded by 40 per cent.
Expanded prevention care is also being rolled out for younger children to help reduce tooth decay and improve the nation’s oral health. The Smile for Life programme will offer parents advice, and nurseries can introduce tooth brushing as part of the daily routine, so that every child in primary school will see tooth brushing as a normal part of their day.
Nusrat Ghani said: “I know from correspondence from Wealden residents that issues regarding access to NHS dental appointments are one of the biggest concerns locally. I welcome this fantastic investment of £200 million for the NHS Dental Recovery Plan, as it’s a priority that we improve access to good dentistry for everyone at any age, and especially support young children as they practice good oral health. I’m pleased that this plan will deliver over 2.5 million additional appointments across the country over the next 12 months, and I look forward to seeing the positive impact it has in Wealden.”