Barrow MP calls on Government to meet dentistry recruitment challenge

THE Barrow MP has called on the Government to meet the dentistry recruitment challenge.

Simon Fell, the MP for Barrow and Furness, has called on the Public Health Minister to increase access to dentistry in the community.

Taking part in Health Questions in the House of Commons, Mr Fell told the Minister: “In areas like Barrow and Furness there are people waiting to be put on waiting lists to be seen by dentists.”

The Furness MP was taking part in Health questions which had been scheduled for back bench MPs to specifically scrutinise Government reforms to make accessing dentists more easy, particularly in coastal communities like Barrow and Furness.

Mr Fell went on to say: “One part of the challenge is reforming the dental contract that allows dentists to operate, but the other is recruitment. I am glad that the government is focussed on delivering a new contract, but can the Minister please update the House on the plan to meet the recruitment challenge which we’ll have to face once this reform comes through?”

Responding to Barrow’s MP was the Health Minister, Marie Caulfield MP.

She said: “It isn’t just about contract, although that is a key aspect to trying to get more dentists to take on NHS work.

“But we are working on a number of incentives to increase recruitment, including working with Health Education England on centres for dental development to train more dentists in those hard to reach areas which tend to be coastal and rural areas.

“And also we are looking at how we can reform the Overseas Dentist policy and we’re working with the GDC on that and maybe bringing legislation forward towards the end of the year to improve that also.”

Mr Fell said: “It is encouraging to hear that the Department for Health and Social Care are listening to the concerns of residents of Furness, and are taking proactive steps to address the challenge we face in dentistry in Furness.

“I’ve met with dentists, the BDA, and residents about this very topic, on numerous occasions. Together, we’re taking the case to the Government to bring about the reforms we need, so that everyone can have a dentist and with it the opportunity to better look after their oral health.”



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