Hello #Plymouth – Earlier this week I met the NHS Chief Dental Officer for England, Sara Hurley and the Director for NHS Dentistry in England, Ali Sparke, to raise the problems facing NHS dentistry in Plymouth.
The Tories need to wake up to the scale of the crisis facing NHS dentistry in our city. Currently, the NHS dental waiting list in Plymouth is over 7 years long with over 21,000 people on the waiting list – around 10% of the city’s population.
New figures compiled by the House of Commons Library showed that only 39% of Plymouth children saw an NHS dentist in 2022 – plummeting from 61% in 2017.
The figures – sourced from NHS Digital data – also revealed that there has been a sharp 18% drop in the number of adults seeing an NHS dentist Plymouth in the past five years, falling from 50.3% in 2017 to 32.2% in 2022.
These new figures paint a tragic story of oral health for Plymouth. I am particularly concerned that a majority of children in Plymouth have not seen a dentist in the past two years.
That’s why during this week’s meeting I pushed officials for more NHS dentists to be trained locally and for more dental provision in the health village in the city centre.
We need Ministers to wake up to the scale of the crisis and act.