Today, local MP, Dame Caroline Dinenage, welcomed Minister for Patient Safety and Primary Care, Maria Caulfield to Gosport to discuss what changes can be made to improve access to NHS dentistry locally.
Caroline invited Minister Caulfield to meet with a number of local dentists and dental care representatives in a roundtable event. The attendees included Smile Dental Care Gosport, MyDentist Gosport and Fareham Road Surgery, as well as representatives from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Dental Committee.
As former Minister of State at the Department of Health and Social Care, Caroline has always championed improved access to healthcare across the country and especially in her constituency of Gosport. She is continuing to work with both national and local stakeholders to ensure that improvements are made in this area.
Commenting Caroline said:
“I was very pleased when the Government Minister responsible for Dentistry, Maria Caulfield, accepted my invitation to visit Gosport. I was really keen for her to meet local dentists and those representing the dentistry sector across our region and to hear what life is like at the sharp end for those trying to deliver NHS dentistry and those patients trying to access it.
“We know that this is a big problem across the Gosport and Portsmouth areas, it was an issue before Covid but now the system is approaching crisis point which is why I thought it was important for the Minister to hear what those on the frontline need to make the system better for both dentists and patients.
“I know the Government have invested a lot of money in this and are keen to get it right. The NHS Dentist contract that came into force back in 2006, has made life increasingly difficult for both dentists and patients.
“The Government is keen to put this right and over the last few years they have been piloting various alternatives, however, not one of them has worked in the way they wanted, which is why I was really grateful to the Minister for taking the time to hear the solutions that local dentists are putting forward.
“I was also pleased that she confirmed some of these improvements will be announced in the coming months, which will make a big difference for both recruiting and retaining dentists in the NHS, and ensuring that local people can get the dentist care they need when they need it.”
Caroline will continue to work with the Minister to ensure that dentistry services are improved.
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