Michael is aware that many constituents are experiencing great difficulty accessing dental care as they have been unable to find dentists in Surrey Heath or nearby that are accepting new NHS patients. Access to dentistry was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, with all attendance figures lower than they were pre-pandemic. Improving access to NHS dentistry is one of the Government's key priorities for the health service. Dental services in many parts of England have been recovering, but Michael appreciates there is much more progress to be made.
*UPDATE* 31 August 2023 - Michael received the response, attached below, from Fiona Edwards, which he hopes is informative.
24 August 2023 – Michael wrote again to Fiona Edwards, Chief Executive of NHS Frimley to raise access to dental care for his constituents, and asked for advice he can share that will help constituents to access an NHS dentist in the local area.
20 June 2023 – Michael received the latest dentistry date for Surrey Heath: As of June 2022 in Surrey, 28.8% of adults had seen a dentist in the last two years, and 46.7% of children in the last year. This compares with 36.9% for adults and 46.2% for children in England. To explore more dentistry data, including a map and list of dentists in Surrey Heath, trends in the number of dentists across England, and comparisons in the number of people per dentist, please click here.
September 2022 - The Department for Health and Social Care announced ‘Our plan for patients’, which outlines how the Government will meet oral health needs and increase access to dental care. This will increase access to NHS dentistry by adults and children, whilst making the NHS dental contract more attractive to dental practices. NHS England is holding further discussions with the British Dental Association and other stakeholders for additional reforms of the NHS Dental System planned to take place in 2023.
18 March 2022 and again on 20 July 2022 - Michael wrote to Amanda Pritchard, Chief Executive of NHS England, to ask how much of the additional funding has been allocated to Surrey Heath and for information on any work that is taking place with local providers in Surrey Heath to improve access to dental care for his constituents.
Michael received a response on 9 August 2022 from Fiona Edwards, Chief Executive of NHS Frimley, which is attached below.
Ms Edwards explained that should any patient need urgent dental care, or they have been able to access temporary urgent care and still require further treatment to stabilise their oral health, be a Looked After Child or need dental treatment before undergoing certain medical or surgical procedures, they will be able to contact one of the following practices to obtain treatment:
• Moonlight Dental Surgery, Slough, Berkshire, Tel: 01753 526301
• SC Dental Studio, Slough, Berkshire, Tel: 01753 550888
• Sunbury Dental Practice, Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey, TW16 6QL, Tel: 01932 783208
• Parkside Dental Surgery, Woking, Surrey, GU21 3LQ, Tel: 01483 766355
• Cromwell Dental Practice, Walton On Thames, Surrey KT12 3NL, Tel: 01932 269199
9 March 2022 - The Health Secretary responded to explain that an additional £50 million in funding for NHS dentistry was being made available for the remainder of the 2021/22 financial year to give more patients access to dental care, and that the South East was allocated £6,887,000 of that funding.
18 February 2022 - Michael wrote to the Health Secretary to raise concerns about access to NHS dental care for his constituents.