Inquiry launched into NHS dentistry services
LONDON, UK: The House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee has launched an inquiry into NHS England dentistry services, stating that the focus of NHS dentistry on treatment rather than prevention is a cause for concern. The British Dental Association (BDA) has welcomed the news, since it has frequently worked to expose the deficiencies in dental access, funding and strategy, and has sought to raise the profile of dentistry in Parliament.
Under the terms of the inquiry, the committee will be inviting written submissions on a wide range of topics, including:
- What is the state of the relationship between the NHS and dentistry?
- How satisfactory are the arrangements for the provision of dental services by the NHS?
- Are current arrangements contributing to the widening of health inequality?
- How could access to NHS dentistry be improved?
- What issues are affecting the wider dental workforce?
- What needs to be included in, or removed from, the forthcoming NHS dental contract?
- Is there enough focus on prevention in dentistry, and what are the avoidable harms that could be addressed?
The committee has invited evidence to be submitted by the public, organisations and others with relevant expertise by 13 September 2019. Further information about submission guidelines can be found on its website.
“We have pulled out all the stops to push NHS dentistry up the political agenda,” said Dr Mick Armstrong, Chair of the BDA’s Principal Executive Committee. “Now the Health and Social Care Committee has a chance to shine a light on a system that is failing patients and practitioners across England.”
“The government has yet to wake up to the full scale of the crisis in NHS dental services. But on contracts and funding, on access and recruitment, we will use this inquiry as another chance to make the point that problems made in Westminster can only be fixed in Westminster,” Armstrong added.