Lack of NHS dental appointments in Arun highlighted by MP

The shortage of NHS dental appointments in Bognor Regis and Littlehampton was highlighted by the towns’ MP on Monday, November 29.

Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 12:25 pm

Nick Gibb met Maria Caulfield MP, Minister for Patient Safety and Primary Care, to discuss the issue as her responsibilities include NHS dentists.

He asked to meet the minister because of the difficulties many residents in the area are facing in finding an NHS dentist.

Nick Gibb said: “The minister told me that the key problem was the old contract between dental practices and the NHS, which includes provisions that now effectively disincentivise dentists from delivering treatment under the NHS beyond a fixed number of appointments each year.

Arun residents are having problems accessing an NHS dentist

“This is obviously a deeply flawed and unsatisfactory arrangement.

“The Government is currently renegotiating the contract with dentists, with the negotiations being conducted between the Department for Health and Social Care, NHS England and the British Dental Association.

“I made it clear to the minister that the current position in Bognor Regis and Littlehampton was not acceptable; that people need to be able to find an NHS dentist and be treated under the NHS.

“It is important that the new contract is agreed as soon as possible and that the terms of that new contract result in significantly more NHS dental appointments, particularly in this part of West Sussex.

“I will be monitoring developments carefully.”

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