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Platitudes and half-truths on NHS dentistry – but no action

The British Dental Association has lamented the wholesale lack of clarity from Government over plans to save NHS dentistry.

In the Opposition Day Debate this afternoon the Government restated its ambition to provide access for all but offered no clarity on how to achieve that goal. Ministers even attempted to sidestep the collapse in NHS dentist numbers since lockdown by citing an increase in levels since 2010/11.

A Recovery Plan pledged last Spring remains undelivered, and the Government has rejected the key recommendation from the Health and Social Care Committee – to make a clean break from the discredited contract fuelling the exodus from the workforce.

The Nuffield Trust warned last month the service faces the gravest crisis in its 75-year history, and universal access to care may be dead without radical reform and investment.  

BDA Chair Eddie Crouch said:

“Today, when we needed clarity, the Government provided a full gamut of platitudes and half-truths.

“Ministers keep saying they want an NHS dentist for everyone. There is still no evidence of any plan to make that happen.”