Dental Services

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 19 March 2024.

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Photo of Neil Hudson Neil Hudson Conservative, Penrith and The Border

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent steps her Department has taken to support access to dentists in (a) Penrith and The Border constituency and (b) England.

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

We want to make sure that everyone needing a National Health Service dentist can access one. Our plan to recover and reform NHS dentistry in England will make dental services faster, simpler, and fairer for patients and will fund approximately 2.5 million additional appointments, or more than 1.5 million additional courses of dental treatment. This is especially important for those who live in rural or coastal communities where we know access can be particularly challenging.

Our plan includes a new Golden Hello scheme for dentists who want to move to those areas which persistently struggle to attract dentists into NHS work. A Golden Hello of £20,000 will be offered per dentist, for a total of up to 240 dentists.

There are other measures in our Dentistry Recovery Plan which will help to improve access across all areas of the country. The new patient premium is designed to support dentists to see patients who may not have seen an NHS dentist for some time, and is offered in recognition of the additional time that may be needed for practices to assess, stabilise, and manage patients’ oral health needs. We will also raise the minimum Unit of Dental Activity rate from £23 to £28, supporting practices across the country to deliver more NHS care.

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