Don visits a local dentist to discuss NHS dentistry in Bath.

Commenting on today’s Government figures that reveal almost one million fewer people are seeing an NHS dentist than before Labour’s recent reforms, Bath MP Don Foster said:

“While I am disappointed to see these figures, I am far from surprised. My own research in Bath last year revealed just how difficult it was to get an NHS dentist. At the time, only one dentist in Bath was taking on new NHS patients.

“The dentists that I spoke to in Bath, and those that returned my survey, were all of the agreement that Labour’s reforms had failed. A number had said that they would never again be interested in returning to NHS work. Unless the Government does something soon the situation will only get worse.”

Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Secretary Norman Lamb commented, “When will the Government wake up to the abject failure of the new dental contract?

“The crisis in NHS dentistry is this Government’s hidden legacy. These figures make a mockery of ministers’ repeated claims that more people than ever are seeing an NHS dentist.

“Despite the much trumpeted reforms, finding an NHS dentist is increasingly difficult. We cannot seriously expect elderly people and those on low incomes to travel for miles for vital treatment.

“We need an urgent review into why reforms undertaken just two years ago have completely failed to improve access.”