Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 3rd May 2023.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to improve access to NHS dentist for people in rural areas.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to prevent closures of rural dentist practices.
The National Health Service contracts with independent dental providers to deliver NHS dental treatment in primary care settings and practices have the flexibility to recruit locally to meet their specific needs.
From 1 April 2023, responsibility for commissioning primary care dentistry to meet the needs of the local population has been delegated to integrated care boards across England.
‘Our plan for patients’, announced in September 2022, outlined how we will meet oral health needs and make NHS work more attractive to dentists and their teams, including those in rural areas. This included improving the 2006 NHS dental contract to ensure fairer remuneration for practices providing complex treatment, enabling practices to deliver more activity than they are contracted to deliver (up to 110% of contract value), and introducing a minimum Unit of Dental Activity value of £23.
Other measures include working with Health Education England and NHS England to understand how Centres for Dental Development could be delivered to improve access in areas with a shortage in provision, which may include more rural areas.
We are planning additional reforms of the NHS Dental System to be announced later this year, with a separate long-term plan for the NHS workforce, which will include measures to strengthen and build capacity in the NHS dental workforce.
Yes1 person thinks so
No1 person thinks not
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