24 January 2023
Peter Aldous pressures the Government to publish its strategy for the future of NHS dentistry

Peter Aldous recalls Parliament passing a motion in October calling on the Government to report to the House in three months’ time on their progress in addressing the crisis in NHS dentistry and seeks confirmation that the Government is producing a strategy and asks when it will be published.

Access to NHS Dentistry

Peter Aldous (Waveney) (Con)

5. What steps he is taking to improve access to NHS dentistry. (903221)

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (Neil O’Brien)

The Government are working to improve access. We have made initial reforms to the contract and created more unit of dental activity bands to better reflect the fair cost of work and to incentivise NHS work. We have introduced a new minimum UDA value to help sustain practices where they are low, and we are allowing dentists to deliver 110% of their UDAs for the first time to deliver more activity. Those are just the first steps; we are planning wider reforms.

Peter Aldous 

On 20 October, the House passed a motion highlighting the continuing crisis in NHS dentistry and calling on the Government to report to the House in three months’ time on their progress in addressing this crisis. That time has now elapsed. I am grateful to the Minister for that update, but can he confirm that the Government will be producing a comprehensive strategy for the future of NHS dentistry, and can he inform the House when it will be published?

Neil O’Brien 

It was very useful to meet my hon. Friend the other day, who is a great expert on this issue. As he knows, we are working at pace on our plans for dentistry. As well as improving the incentives to do NHS work, we are working on the workforce to make it easier for dentists to come to the UK. We laid draft secondary legislation in October to help the General Dental Council with that. We are working on our plans for a centre for dental development in Ipswich and elsewhere in the east of England, as he knows. Although we have not yet set a date to set out the next phase of our plans, my hon. Friend knows from our meeting that this is a high priority area for us and that we are working on it at pace.