dentist with patient

Millions in funding to tackle dental backlog

NHS dental services have received £50 million in funding to help provide an additional 350,000 additional dental appointments.

Children and people with learning disabilities will be prioritised for the services in a first instance followed by those suffering from severe oral pain, disease, and infection.

Last week, figures around the sheer extent of the dentistry backlog were released, showing that an estimated ten million people are on the waiting list for routine dental check ups across the UK.

Dentists involved in the treatment push will receive over a third more on top of their usual appointment fees, with all the extra care being undertook outside of usually hours such as early mornings and weekends.

Sara Hurley, Chief Dental Officer for England, said: “Dental services are a vital part of the NHS providing oral health care to all age groups, and that’s why we have taken this unprecedented action to boost NHS dental services.

“More than 600 urgent dental health hubs were rapidly ramped up during the pandemic to deliver urgent care for patients, and the NHS is now getting key services like dentistry back to pre-pandemic levels – injecting an extra £50 million into routine services will help provide check-ups and treatment for hundreds of thousands of people”.

The new funding will be broken down between the regions:

North West – £7,310,000

North East and Yorkshire – £8,633,000

Midlands – £8,904,000

East of England – £5,731,000

South West – £4,726,000

South East – £6,887,000

London – £7,809,000

Maria Caulfield, Minister for Primary Care, said: “Access to NHS dentistry has been given a much needed boost with an extra £50 million announced for NHS dental care services which will urgently give more people access to vital dental care when they need it.

“Through the pandemic, we have prioritised urgent dental needs, vulnerable patients and free treatment for children and thanks to the hard work of staff, the delivery of urgent care is back to pre-pandemic levels. We are now working with the dental sector to recover and reform services and this £50 million boost will help with that recovery”.

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