MP's survey highlights lack of dental cover

Therapy can help overcome dental fear

More than a third of people taking part in an MPs survey are not registered with a dentist - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

More than a third of people who took part in a survey are not registered with a dentist, while a similar number said they had waited more than a month for a routine appointment.

More than 150 people took part in the poll, which was organised by North West Norfolk MP James Wild. Three-quarters of them said they were not satisfied with dentistry in the area.

West Norfolk has the lowest number of dentists in the country, with just 3.4 per 10,000 people according to the National Audit Office.

North West Norfolk MP James Wild. Picture: Denise Bradley

North West Norfolk MP James Wild who is campaigning for more dentists to be commissioned in his constituency - Credit: Denise Bradley

Mr Wild's survey also showed just under half of those who are registered are NHS patients, while a fifth have had to wait over a week for an emergency appointment.

Mr Wild said: "These results underline the long-running need for better access to dentists in North West Norfolk and the current level of provision is not good enough. This reflects the challenges in attracting and recruiting dentists and there is not a quick fix although temporary options such as mobile dentistry are popular and could help.

"I will continue to campaign for the NHS to deliver short and longer term improvements so people can see a dentist when they need to."

Mr Wild spoke about the need to better access to dentistry in North West Norfolk during a debate in the House of Commons last month.

Mr Wild said he would will continue to press NHS East of England Direct Commissioning Group which is responsible for dentistry services to bring forward plans to commission more provision for North West Norfolk.

A spokesman for the NHS in eastern England said:  “We are committed to ensuring everyone can access high quality dental care, and we are working closely with dental providers in Norfolk to improve access to services.

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“Although we are working hard to ensure routine dental services can be restored safely, dentists are currently prioritising those patients with the most urgent needs and those with outstanding treatments.

“Anyone who needs urgent or emergency dental care should use the NHS 111 service for advice on where to go.”


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