NHS: Dental Services

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 8 September 2023.

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Photo of Matt Vickers Matt Vickers Conservative, Stockton South

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to work with dental practices to help ensure an adequate supply of NHS appointments.

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

In July 2022, we announced a package of dental system improvements having fully engaged with the profession and patient representatives. These initial changes were aimed at improving information for patients; improving incentives in the contract to deliver more complex care; and enabling the National Health Service to better work with the sector to ensure that dental care is delivered. The first of these changes came into force in late 2022.

The latest NHS Dental Statistics for England show that NHS dental activity as measured by Courses of Treatments delivered increased by 23% between 2021/22 and 2022/23.

We have also announced significant reforms as part of our NHS Long-Term Workforce Plan, including a 40% increase in dentistry training places, and are consulting on proposals to enable dental therapists and hygienists to deliver more treatments.

But we acknowledge more needs to be done and we are working on our dental plan, which will be published shortly and will include further measures to improve access.

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