6 March 2024
NHS Dentistry Update – Question to the Secretary of State

George Freeman highlights the dentistry crisis in rural Norfolk and, whilst supportive of the dental recovery plan as a long-term solution, calls on the Government to work with the NHS Norfolk and Waveney integrated care board to find a way to get more money to help dentistry in Norfolk now.

George Freeman (Mid Norfolk) (Con)

Rural Norfolk is experiencing a dental crisis and a generation of children are in danger of going without dental care. I welcome the dental recovery plan, but I notice that it will be four or five years before we get more dentists. Last week, NHS Norfolk and Waveney integrated care board announced a £17 million underspend on dentistry. Will the Minister agree to meet with me and the ICB to work out how we get more money out now to help dentistry in Norfolk today?

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (Victoria Atkins)

One of the many ways we have tackled access to dental care is to ensure that those dentists who have a contract to conduct NHS work are using them to the top of their licence. We are encouraging dentists to do that through the new patient premium and a higher rate paid for units of dental activity. There is so much more to the plan. Labour keeps trying to claim credit for our plan, but the truth is that our plan promises 2.5 million appointments while its plan promises a miserly 700,000.