MP welcomes dentistry rescue plan to tackle NHS 'dental deserts'

Sarah Champion MPSarah Champion MP
Sarah Champion MP
MP SARAH Champion has welcomed Labour's newly launched dentistry rescue plan for the NHS – after analysis revealed 12 out of 13 surgeries in Rotherham are not accepting new adult patients.

The rescue plan comes after research revealed the majority of dental practices in the county have shut their doors to new patients.

Of the 489 dental surgeries who provided a recent update in Yorkshire and the Humber, 415 are not currently accepting any new adult patients and 270 (55 per cent) are not accepting any new patients at all.

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Welcoming Labour's plan – which includes incentives for new dentists to work in areas with the greatest need and tackle the emergence of NHS ‘dental deserts’, Ms Champion said NHS dentistry had been “left to rot.”

Her survey of constituents’ experiences of the NHS in Rotherham, launched in December 2022, found nearly 40 per cent of respondents weren’t registered with a dentist, with half of those finding it “impossible” to register.

Earlier this year, the Advertiser reported on how Greasbrough resident David Creamer got in touch with Sarah Champion “out of despair”after being left on painkillers and a soup-only diet because he was unable to register with an NHS dentist.

Labour's rescue plans also include funding NHS dental practices to provide 700,000 more urgent appointments, for patients needing fillings and root canal, and supervised toothbrushing in schools for three to five-year-olds in the areas with the highest levels of childhood tooth decay.

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The plans are expected to cost £111million a year and will be funded, the party says, by abolishing the 'non-dom' tax status, which allows people who live and work in Britain to pay their taxes overseas.

Ms Champion said: "The Conservatives have left NHS dentistry to rot, with patients in Rotherham forced to go without basic care.

“My survey of constituents’ experiences showed just how desperate this situation is, and these figures tell us that it’s only getting worse.

“It is unacceptable that my constituents are suffering because of Tory inaction.

“I’m pleased that Labour has a fully-costed plan to rescue NHS dentistry by gripping the immediate crisis and reforming the service in the long-term.”