Sunak's Assurances Fail To Reassure - Again

Sunak’s Assurances Fail To Reassure - Again

The Prime Minister who, during his leadership campaign promised to tackle NHS dentistry’s woes "on day one", was challenged at PMQs this week by Conservative MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough, Andrew Jones.

Mr Jones told the PM that he had recently met with his local Integrated Care Board to "discuss plans for improving dentistry provision".

He asked the Prime Minister "When surgeries suddenly close to NHS patients without notice, as one in Harrogate did very recently, an immediate strain is put on local provision. Will the Prime Minister look at what can be done in those circumstances to ensure no one is left without access to an NHS dentist?

In his reply, Rishi Sunak told Mr Jones he was absolutely right to raise the issue and, using words that mix complacency with insouciance added, "he will be reassured to know that we are investing £3 billion a year in dentistry.  There is no geographical restriction on which dental practice a patient may attend and practices should keep their records up to date, including whether they are accepting new patients.

"Typically, where a practice ends a contract" Mr Sunak continued "NHS England and ICBs should work together to ensure that funding is reallocated and patients continue to have access to NHS dental care".

So apparently everything is alright then.  Patients just need to travel further afield to one of the 10% of practices accepting new patients whilst NHS England and the ICBs, spoilt for choice by the number of practices in the locality pitching for some additional UDAs, decide which practice, going forwards, will care for their future needs. 


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