30 June 2023
NHS Dentists – Update

Dental health is a crucial part of NHS services and it is vital that EVERYONE can access the support they need when they need it.

That’s why, over the past 2-3 years, I have been actively campaigning, with fellow Norfolk MP colleagues, for improvements to NHS dental services here in the East, particularly around access and appointments. 

As part of that campaign, I have been calling for more local training opportunities, including a full NHS Dental School for the East. As we know, statistically, students that study at the likes of UEA and the University of the Arts are far more likely to settle locally than students elsewhere in the country. I believe we would see the same occurring were a Dental School established here – ensuring our area has more vital dentists living and working in our local practices.

I therefore welcome the announcement today of the Government’s ‘NHS Long Term Workforce Plan’, which includes a commitment to increasing the number of training places for dental therapy and hygiene professionals across the UK by 28% by 2028/29. This is a positive step forwards.

I also welcome the establishment of the Norwich Dental Development Centre by UEA to bring together education and training needs for our region’s dentists. The Dental Development Centre represents the first step towards the full undergraduate School of Dentistry at UEA that I, along with fellow Norfolk parliamentary colleagues, are desperate to see – and I am committed to supporting UEA as they put together a bid ready for when the Government opens the national bidding process for additional training places.

Rest assured, I will continue to work hard on this issue.

To stay up to date with all of my campaign work on NHS Dentistry, please visit my website here