The latest update from NHS dental practices has revealed that there are no dental practices in Bournemouth West, Bournemouth East, Christchurch or Poole accepting new adult patients.
Of the 15 dental surgeries that provided a recent update in Bournemouth West, all 15 are not currently accepting any new adult patients. The South West region is the worst in the country for access to dentists with 99.1% practices not accepting new adult patients.
Labour has a plan to take immediate action for those in most urgent need and long-term reform to restore NHS dentistry to all who need it. The plans include:
Funding NHS dental practices to provide 700,000 more urgent appointments, for patients in need of things like fillings and root canal.
Incentives for new dentists to work in areas with the greatest need, to tackle the emergence of ‘dental deserts’ where no NHS dentists are taking on new patients.
Supervised toothbrushing in schools for 3-5 year olds, targeted at the areas with highest childhood tooth decay
Reform the dental contract to rebuild the service in the long-run, so NHS dentistry is there for all who need it
The plans will cost £111 million a year in total and be funded by abolishing the non-dom tax status, which allows people who live and work in Britain to pay their taxes overseas.
Jessica Toale, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Bournemouth West said:
"It's unacceptable that across Bournemouth if you need an NHS dentist, you cannot get one. People are being forced to go private or take matters into their own hands. DIY dentistry is now shockingly common in Britain. Under the Conservatives, NHS dentistry has been left to wither, and now the service is barely worthy of the name.
“Labour has a fully-costed plan to rescue NHS dentistry by gripping the immediate crisis and reforming the service in the long-term. We will provide 700,000 urgent appointments and recruit new dentists to the areas most in need, paid for by abolishing the non-dom tax status.”