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SHOCKING NUMBERS NEED EMERGENCY DENTAL TREATMENT ACROSS EAST SUSSEX DOWNS AND WEALD

New official figures expose consequences of lack of access to NHS dentists

An alarming number of people across East Sussex Downs and Weald need emergency dental treatment in hospital because of a lack of access to NHS dentists, it was revealed this week. These urgent admissions are a direct result of patients not having an NHS dentist who is normally able to treat them in an emergency.

  • New figures extracted by the Conservatives show that across the country, 22,000 people had to be admitted to hospital for emergency dental treatment last year. These emergency hospital admissions are costing the NHS £13 million a year.
  • In East Sussex Downs and Weald, covering the Eastbourne area, 131 people received emergency dental treatment in hospitals, costing the local NHS an estimated £78,024. Most of this has to be borne by already over-stretched A&E departments.
  • This comes as the latest NHS figures show that 48% of the population across East Sussex Downs and Weald have not been seen by an NHS dentist in the last two years.

Nigel Waterson said:

“These figures underline once again this Government’s appalling failure on NHS dentistry. 48% of people in our area have been unable to see an NHS dentist. It comes as no surprise that 131 people have been forced to attend hospital last year for emergency dental care – straining our over-stretched A&E departments still further.”

“We need to cut out Labour’s waste and bureaucracy in NHS dentistry and restore access to an NHS dentist to the million people who have lost one under this Government.”

Conservatives have announced a series of reforms to NHS dentistry which will improve NHS care. The comprehensive plan proposes:

  • Creating new incentives for dentists to spend more time on preventative dental care, improving oral health and reducing long-term costs.
  • Restoring access to an NHS dentist for the one million patients who have lost it under Labour, by removing costly bureaucracy and cutting out waste.
  • Using money currently spent on carrying out unnecessary treatments to reintroduce dental screening for children in schools.
  • Ensuring that taxpayer-trained dentists work for the NHS for at least five years.

23 June 2009