28 March 2007

NHS Dental Crisis

Last Monday, I made reference to how the majority of us have been left without access to an NHS dentist as a result of Labour's botched reforms and failed contracts. This week we have three surveys confirming what we all already knew from our own experience: that Tony Blair has failed to deliver on his 1999 pledge that by September 2001 "everyone in the country will be able once again to see an NHS dentist just by telephoning NHS Direct."

First, a Which? survey of dentists found that two-thirds were turning away patients because local health bosses are running out of cash.

Now today, the British Dental Association has found that 85% of dentists do not think the government's reforms have improved access for patients and Citizens Advice says two milion patients do not have access to an NHS dentist and are forced to go private, go on waiting lists or do without.

Worse still, 95% of dentists feel less confident about the future of NHS dentistry than they did two years ago. The government, of course, claims that improvements are being made ... just don't ask where.


Ruth said...

Today's Yorkshire Post says there are now 10% fewer NHS dental practices in the county compared to two years ago and at least 30,000 people waiting to find a dentist.