Dental Services: Rural Areas

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 28th March 2018.

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Photo of Derek Thomas Derek Thomas Conservative, St Ives

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to ensure rural areas have adequate access to dentists; and whether the Government provides incentives for dentists to work in areas where there is an acute shortage.

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

NHS England has a legal duty to commission National Health Service primary care dental services to meet local needs.

NHS England contracts with dental providers to provide NHS care. Contract holders are then responsible for the recruitment of any other dentists needed to fulfil the contract requirements. This includes the remuneration offered to any associate dentists they recruit.

NHS England advises that it has recently been getting reports from some providers of difficulties in recruiting and retaining dentists particularly in more remote areas. NHS England is working with local commissioners to investigate how widespread this is and is keeping the issue under active review.

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