Matt Hancock says he will listen

Matt Hancock says he will listen

Speaking in the House of Commons, Matt Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care promised that before Christmas, the Government would bring forward a long-term (10 year) plan for the NHS and outline how the additional funding promised by the Chancellor would be spent. Answering questions, he said he would listen to suggestions to get (the dental contract) right.

Mr Hancock said that prevention was better than cure and there would be more funding for community and primary care and the better use of technology. Prevention can save money and eliminate waste, he said, “Instead of simply broadcasting messages to the nation, technology allows us to support much more targeted advice, messages and interventions for those most at risk”.

Bradford MP Judith Cummins, a long time campaigner for better access to NHS dentistry in her constituency, said that tooth decay was ‘entirely preventable’. She asked the health secretary to ‘act now’ to address the concerns of the BDA and others that the new dental contract ‘will not go far enough in prioritising prevention’.

Matt Hancock replied that the Government was ‘trialling the new contract’ to get it right. “We want to get it right, and I look forward to listening to the hon. Lady’s concerns in more detail,” he said.

Sir Paul Beresford pointed out that the biggest reason for children attending hospital for general anaesthetic is to extract decayed, rotten, abscessing teeth caused by dental caries. He suggested that water fluoridation was a very effective means of prevention. He asked: “Does (the minister) support fluoridation of the water supplies, and what can he do to actively promote it, because, at the moment, it is in only 10% of our supplies?”

Replying the Secretary of State said: “My hon. Friend is of course a dentist, and I would love to listen to him speak in more detail about what we can do to get this right.”

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