Concern over the poor state of dental care Dewsbury has led to calls for the Health Secretary to step in.
MP for Dewsbury Paula Sherriff wrote to Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, inviting him to see for himself the difficulty residents are facing getting seen by an NHS dentist.
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She told him: “It is near impossible to get an appointment with an NHS dentist in the Dewsbury constituency.
“For too long, NHS dentistry in our area has been in a state of perpetual decay. I’ve been fighting to prioritise this issue for those constituents who tell me they are in desperate need.”
She said she received a response from a health minister, Seema Kennedy MP, which deferred her to NHS England and did not address her invitation to the constituency.
The response from NHS England stated: “NHS England has a national contract in place for primary care dental services and as a result we are bound by the terms and conditions of this contract.
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“A further restriction is that the budget allocated to Yorkshire and the Humber for dental services is fully committed and therefore there is no scope to permanently increase the number of Units of Dental Acticity contracted nor can we uplift any individual practice’s Units of Dental Activity rate.”
Miss Sherriff slammed the replies to her letters: “This response simply is not good enough. NHS Dentistry needs urgent funding and reform – now.”