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Toothless in England urge patients to speak out ahead of government inquiry

Updated: Jan 25, 2023

A campaign group pushing for improved NHS dental services are encouraging people to share their stories ahead of a government inquiry.

Toothless in England is submitting evidence to the inquiry and is urging people across the country to speak up about their struggles.

The campaign group kicked off in Suffolk in 2021 after the last NHS dental practice in the town of Leiston closed its doors. Now, it is a nationwide cause.

According to the Hunts Post, founder of Toothless in Huntingdon, Simon Brignell, said: ‘The announcement of an inquiry into NHS dentistry is something we welcome, bearing in mind that the current contract was deemed unfit for purpose as long ago as 2008.

‘We need your voices more than ever as this is a real chance to make an impact and help bring back an NHS dentist for everyone.’

Toothless in England are pushing for ‘an NHS dentist for everyone’.

Recruitment incentives

The Health and Social Care Committee launched a new inquiry into NHS dentistry last month. This comes after an investigation showed that 90% of dental practices across the UK were not accepting new adult NHS patients.

The inquiry will assess to what extent the NHS dental contract ‘disincentivises dentists from taking on new patients’. MPs will also look at incentives to recruit and retain NHS dental professionals.

In addition, the inquiry will explore the possible impact of new changes arriving in April 2023. These include making new Integrated Care Systems and Integrated Care Boards responsible for the provision of dental services.

The BDA has said that this inquiry ‘may represent a last best hope to save the service.’ It also stressed that, ‘real scrutiny is now essential to draw a line under the government’s poverty of ambition on reform’.

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