Dental Care - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:06 am on 1st February 2018.

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Photo of Baroness Kennedy of Cradley Baroness Kennedy of Cradley Labour 11:06 am, 1st February 2018

I thank the Minister for that reply, but dental care in England is in crisis. Charities now provide emergency dental care. A quarter of all five year-olds have tooth decay. More than half of dentists plan to leave the NHS within five years and government spending on NHS dentistry has fallen by £170 million since 2010, meaning that patients pay more and more. The NHS dental contract that the Minister mentioned needs urgent reform—something that Labour recognised back in 2009. Why, despite running pilots since 2011, are the Government now saying that they need more time—a couple of years, perhaps—before wider rollout can even be considered? By what date, therefore, do the Government expect to deliver reform to these urgently needed NHS dental contracts?