- Published: Thursday, 07 March 2019 07:45
- Written by News Editor
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The BDA has criticised Minister for failing to act over child tooth decay, as new data from NHS Digital shows 4.9 million children didn’t attend a dentist last year. Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen, GDPC chair, said: “Any government that claims to value prevention should not be letting nearly 5 million children miss out on free check-ups.” This follows last week’s call by MPs for Matt Hancock to act over dental access problems.
The British Dental Association has accused ministers of token gestures to tackle child tooth decay, as new data from NHS Digital shows 4.9 million children didn’t attend a dentist last year, including 6 in 10 1-4 year olds (57.7% or around 1 million of that age group). The BDA has long advocated that England follows the lead set by devolved governments, including bringing supervised brushing to schools and nurseries.
Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen, Chair of General Dental Practice at the BDA, said: "Any government that claims to value prevention should not be letting nearly 5 million children miss out on free check-ups. The UK has pioneered polices that are transforming children’s oral health. Sadly, while countries from Chile to Israel are seeing the benefits, kids in England have been left with second class system, without a penny of new investment behind it.
“It’s not inevitable that a child born in Pendle will arrive in primary school with twenty times the levels of decay as one born in Surrey. It is a direct consequence of years of inaction at Westminster.”
Professor Michael Escudier, dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons said: ’It’s disappointing that nearly six in 10 one to four-year-olds did not see an NHS dentist last year. Children who experience early childhood tooth decay are much more likely to develop subsequent problems, including an increased risk of further decay in both their baby and permanent teeth.
MPs last week sent an open letter to the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, calling on him act over shortages of NHS dentists. Written by Bolton MP Yasmin Qureshi and signed by 17 opposition MPs, the letter comes as new data shows more than a million new patients tried and failed to secure access to an NHS dentist last year. Half of all NHS surgeries are closed to new patients it is estimated.
The message, co-signed by 16 MPs from across England, takes the him to task for failing to address the funding and contract issues fuelling the crisis, and for recent comments endorsing ‘affordable’ private alternatives to his own constituents, many of whom are no longer able to get an NHS appointment.
Signatories warned the Health Secretary that “unless the system is appropriately funded and commissioned the problems facing patients in constituencies like ours will soon be shared by patients across England.” Analysis of official data shows over a million new patients tried and failed to secure access to NHS services last year, including 60,000 across Greater Manchester.
Child dental tragedy in England persists......It is like Prevention is being prevented for Dental Health in England :(
It is a National Tragedy and an International disgrace that the No.1 medical reason ANY young child is hospitalised in England is still and WILL BE CONDEMNED TO CONTINUE TO BE, rotten teeth, an almost 100% preventable condition :o
Yours also clearly,
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