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Reality check: Migrants not to blame for crisis in NHS dentistry

With government backbenchers and Reform Party leaders trying to pin the crisis in dentistry on migrants, we’ve spelled out the facts.

The Daily Telegraph reported on 7 February that voices in the Conservative Party and Reform leader Richard Tice were claiming the number of new arrivals in Britain is driving an ‘unquenchable demand’ for health services, suggesting this was what was causing queues like the ones seen in Bristol last week.

This is as offensive as it is inaccurate and highlighted some key facts:

  • Immigrants did not slash the dental budget by £1bn in real terms since 2010
  • Immigrants did not refuse to fix a broken contract fuelling the exodus from the NHS
  • In fact, around 30% of dentists registered to practice in the UK qualified overseas.

Leading GP Dr Mark Porter echoed our concerns, “I live and work in a part of the country with almost no easily accessible NHS dental provision AND very little immigration” he said. “And it’s close to Bristol. This type of claim is just deflection.”

We are seeing queues and people reaching for pliers because of choices made in Westminster. This government has wasted almost a year on a ‘Recovery Plan’ that doesn’t pass the Ronseal Test.

We are calling on all political parties to support real reform and fair funding – and we encourage everyone to sign our petition to show your support.