Dental Services: St Helens North

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 10 January 2024.

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Photo of Conor McGinn Conor McGinn Independent, St Helens North

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to increase the availability of NHS dental treatment in St Helens North constituency.

Photo of Conor McGinn Conor McGinn Independent, St Helens North

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to help increase capacity of NHS dentists in St Helens North constituency.

Photo of Andrea Leadsom Andrea Leadsom The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Our plan for dentistry, to be published shortly, will build upon the first package of reforms agreed in July 2022, which included changes to banding and the introduction of a minimum Units of Dental Activity value. Our plan will include addressing how we continue to improve access, particularly for new patients; and how we make National Health Service work more attractive to ensure NHS dentists are incentivised to deliver more NHS care.

The NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, published on 30 June 2023, sets out the steps the NHS and its partners need to take to deliver an NHS workforce that meets the changing needs of the population over the next 15 years. These include a 40% increase to dentistry undergraduate training places by 2031/32. To support this ambition, we will expand places by 24% by 2028/29, taking the overall number that year to 1,000 places.

From 1 April 2023, responsibility for commissioning primary care dentistry to meet the needs of the local population has been delegated to all integrated care boards (ICBs) across England. ICBs are responsible for having local processes in place to identify areas of need and determine the priorities for investment.

Patients who are struggling to find a local dentist can contact NHS England’s Customer Contact Centre for assistance or contact NHS 111 if seeking urgent care.

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