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NHS Dentistry Must Serve Every Person, from the Cradle to the Grave

Speaking in a debate in the House of Commons, Judith Cummins, the Labour Member of Parliament for Bradford South, called for a ‘clear strategy’ for the recovery of NHS Dentistry.

Last month, the Nuffield Trust announced that universal NHS Dentistry was ‘gone for good’ without radical action.

The BBC and the British Dental Association have conducted surveys which show that 90% of practices across the UK are no longer accepting new NHS patients. 

Speaking in Parliament, Judith said:

’14 years of this Conservative Government has brought about the decay of our vital NHS dental healthcare services.’

‘Now is the time for a government which is determined to provide the care that people across this country, and their children, deserve.’

Over 1000 dentists have left the NHS since the pandemic, and the number of treatments being completed each year is now 6 million lower than before the pandemic. The BDA estimate that 75% of dentists are thinking of reducing their NHS commitments this year.

In Bradford, 445 people were treated in hospital for dental related issues in 2022-2023.

A local dentist based in Bradford South said:

‘I’ve been saying it for years: the NHS dental contract needs fundamental reform. Without immediate action, there will be no Universal NHS Dentistry.’

Alongside their plans to ‘build an NHS fit for the future’, the Labour Party has committed to the fundamental reform of NHS dentistry. They have also committed to providing an extra 700,000 urgent dental appointments.

Judith said:

‘There is one clear answer: the Government must recommit to a Universal NHS Dental Service which will care for all, from the cradle to the grave.’

‘We cannot stand by and let the principle of NHS dentistry in this country be eroded.’

‘This decline is not irreversible - or inevitable - it is a political choice. I urge the Government to take immediate action to save our NHS dental services’.

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