Greens pledges to end ‘dental deserts’ with £3bn for new NHS contract

Green party co-leader Adrian Ramsay said it was a “national outrage” that children were being admitted to hospital for tooth decay.

The Green Party has pledged to end “dental deserts” in the UK and restore full access to NHS dentistry.

Green party co-leader Adrian Ramsay said it was a “national outrage” that children were being admitted to hospital for tooth decay, as thousands struggle to access dental care.

There have also been reports of people removing their own teeth at home, due to the difficulty in seeing a dentist on the NHS.

The party has said their MPs will push for a new contract for NHS dentists backed by an additional £3 billion for the dentistry budget by 2030.

Arthur Haupt holds some of the teeth he pulled out himself using a pair of pliers because he was told to wait for an appointment to see an NHS dentist
Some people have resorted to pulling out their own teeth (PA)

Mr Ramsay said: “In many parts of the country it is now impossible to register with an NHS dentist, and many dentists are de-registering NHS patients to avoid treating them at a loss.

“Too many of us are feeling the consequences: dropping from regular preventative dental visits to only going when we have a problem that needs treatment.

“Prevention is so much better than treatment, and it’s a national outrage that tooth decay is now the top reason for child hospital admissions.

“Our Green plan for dentists will put the billions into the NHS needed to turn around fourteen years of Conservative failure, and ensure every person in every community will have access to an affordable NHS dentist.

“Green MPs will commit to meeting with the British Dental Association as soon as possible after the election, so that we can pile the pressure on the next government to fix dentistry as a matter of urgency.”

Greens leader Adrian Ramsay
Green Party co-leader Adrian Ramsay called the situation a national outrage 

The British Dental Association (BDA) has reviewed the dental policies in each party’s manifesto stating that “meaningful reform needs to go hand in hand with fair funding”.

Shawn Charlwood, chair of the General Dental Practice Committee wrote: “Meaningful reform needs to go hand in hand with fair funding.

“We’ve seen multibillion-pound promises from both the Greens and Lib Dems for the NHS.

“There is a modest pot of new money from Labour for 700,000 urgent appointments, but pledges on reform – ‘a shift to focusing on prevention and the retention of NHS dentists’ have yet to be priced in and will likely hinge on future negotiations.”

In the report Mr Charlwood states that “a decisive break from a failed NHS contract” is required to facilitate “real progress” on dentistry outcomes.

He writes: “It is disappointing that the Conservatives have pledged little more than a reheat of an inadequate recovery plan. But we have seen opposition parties pick up the baton, and this feels like progress.”

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