Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to improve access to NHS dental treatment in rural and isolated communities.
The Department and NHS England have recently announced improvements to the National Health Service dental system to increase access, target patients with higher oral health needs and make NHS dentistry a more attractive place to work for dentists and their teams.
This will assist regional commissioners to address the needs of NHS dental patients in rural and isolated communities through focused commissioning. It also aims to support practices to utilise members of the dental team to deliver care, particularly where there may be challenges in recruiting and retaining NHS dentists. Since July 2022, NHS England has asked practices to deliver 100% of contracted units of dental activity to safely improve access for patients, including in rural and isolated areas.