Dental Services: Children

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 22 May 2023.

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Photo of David Warburton David Warburton Conservative, Somerton and Frome

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to improve access to local NHS dental services for children in (a) England and (b) Somerton and Frome constituency.

Photo of Neil O'Brien Neil O'Brien The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

From 1 April 2023 responsibility for commissioning primary care dentistry to meet the needs of the local population, including for children, has been delegated to integrated care boards (ICBs) across England. NHS England has published an accompanying Assurance Framework which sets out its approach to providing assurance that commissioning functions are carried out safely and effectively by ICBs.

In September 2022, we announced ‘Our plan for patients’ which sets out how we will meet oral health needs and increase access to NHS dental for patients of all ages, whilst making the National Health Service dental contract more attractive to dental practices. These changes have been implemented, including through regulations that came into effect on 25 November 2022. NHS England is holding further discussions with the British Dental Association and other stakeholders for plans for additional reforms of the NHS Dental System coming shortly.

In circumstances where a guardian or parents are unable to access an urgent dental appointment for their child directly through a NHS dental practice, they are advised to contact NHS 111 for assistance.

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