Labour Calls for Local Summit to make NHS Dentists available

Terry Ledlie Yeovil Labour Chairman

It’s time to bring stakeholders together to address the crisis in NHS dentistry in Yeovil constituency, says Yeovil Labour Party. All the local dentists have stopped taking on new NHS patients, leading to a growing number of people missing out on dental treatment altogether. Things were made worse when Chard House Dental Practice closed iits doors in March this year. The local Labour Party is calling for a “summit meeting” between the local MP, dental practices, the NHS and patient’s representatives to try to find a way forward. The background is that most dentists in our area still provide NHS care but they have stopped taking on new patients. This mirrors the trend across the UK. NHS dentists in England saw 29.6 million patients in 2011/2012 but this fell to 22.1 million in 2021/2022. The local party also says that many people are facing soaring costs as they have to choose between going private and having to travel longer distances to see an NHS dentist. They also report that it is leading to many people simply dropping out of dental care.

Terry Ledlie, Chair of Yeovil Constituency Labour Party said, “Successive governments have stood back and watched as NHS dentistry run down. It is completely unacceptable to drive people out of the healthcare system in this way. I have written to our local MP Marcus Fysh asking him to make sure that the government knows that we need better provision in this constituency. I think that it is also important to try to bring dentists, patients and politicians together to try to improve local provision quickly. There is clearly unmet demand for NHS dental series and there should be some steps that our much-respected local dental surgeries can take in order to help get us through the current crisis. I am very worried that running down NHS dentistry must mean that public health will suffer. We deserve to be able to have our teeth and gums taken care of properly. I’m particularly worried that those who cannot find a dentist will miss out on the annual check for the early signs of oral cancer that dentists provide.”

Save NHS Dentistry

Terry continued ” There is also a growing fear that if we do not save NHS dentistry, then some other NHS services will go the same way. Fewer and fewer doctors’ surgeries are providng foot-care services and ear wax removal, since the NHS issued instructions to make these areas low priority. We deserve high quality health care that covers all our needs. NHS dentistry needs more funding from government and local practices need to find more dentists who are
willing to undertake NHS work.”


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