Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of the (a) recruitment and retention rates of dentists in the (i) NHS, (ii) mixed and (iii) private sectors and (b) potential merits of a workforce strategy for that sector.
Many dentists offer private dental care alongside National Health Service dentistry. No assessment has been made of the recruitment and retention of private dentists. In 2020/21 there were 23,733 dentists with NHS activity in England.
Health Education England set out a range of recommendations in its September 2021 Advancing Dental Care Review, which aims to tackle recruitment, retention and attracting more dentists into the NHS. Action is now being taken to implement these through their Dental Education Reform Programme. The Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement are working to make the NHS dental contract more attractive to the profession. The Department is also currently working with the General Dental Council on legislative proposals which will allow it greater flexibility to expand overseas registration routes open to international applicants.