Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department will take to increase the supply of NHS dental places and appointments in (a) the Isle of Wight and (b) other rural and isolated communities.
NHS England and NHS Improvement are developing proposals for dental system reform, with the Department and key stakeholders. This aims to improve patient access and oral health, offer value for money for the National Health Service and be designed with the profession. Any reforms will seek to improve provision in such areas by making the NHS dental offer more attractive for dentists.
Health Education England’s Advancing Dental Care Education and Training Review programme is addressing oral health needs through changes to the workforce. This includes opportunities for flexible core and specialty training pathways to improve career progression and retention, including in rural and isolated communities. The programme will also look at the placement of postgraduate dental training places into areas of greatest need, such as rural communities. NHS England and NHS Improvement are working with Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group and the local authority to consider how to improve dentistry provision in the Isle of Wight.