Dental Services: Coronavirus

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 14th July 2021.

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Photo of Helen Hayes Helen Hayes Labour, Dulwich and West Norwood

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to tackle challenges in accessing dental care during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Emma Hardy Emma Hardy Labour, Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to increase the availability of NHS Dentist appointments.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

We are working with NHS England and NHS Improvement and Public Health England to increase access, including for routine care, taking into account the ongoing infection prevention and control and social distancing requirements. In resuming services, a careful balance is needed between increasing dental activity and ensuring patients and staff are protected from ongoing infection risk.

National Health Service dentists have been asked to maximise safe throughput to meet as many prioritised needs as possible, focussing first on urgent care and vulnerable groups followed by overdue appointments. The NHS has also issued guidance on flexible commissioning to share best practice on targeting the available capacity at those most in need. The Department has asked NHS England and NHS Improvement to lead on the next stage of NHS dental system reform, working closely with the British Dental Association. This will seek to build on the learning from the dental contract reform programme and improve patient access.

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