RCSEd responds to new report that 'NHS dentistry as we know it is gone for good'

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19 Dec 2023

The College has responded to a new report from the Nuffield Trust called 'Bold action or slow decay? The state of NHS dentistry and future policy actions'. The report concluded that "NHS dentistry is at its most perilous point in its 75-year history".

Grant McIntyre, Dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery at The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, said:

"These recent findings by the Nuffield Trust on NHS dentistry raise significant concerns shared by many dental professionals across the UK.

It is imperative that the government promptly discloses the specifics of its dental recovery plan, with a strong emphasis on decisive and immediate support for the sector to protect patient safety.

The ongoing shortage of access to NHS dentistry not only profoundly affects the dental health of the population but also poses alarming risks for the delayed detection of head and neck cancers.

The recent overhaul of the NHS dentistry payment system in Scotland is a positive step that could be emulated by other UK nations. Its new focus on prevention rather than reactive treatment compensates dentists for both aspects, addressing the mounting waiting list challenges within the NHS and enhancing access to dental care.

We advocate for similar moves across the UK, enabling dentists to operate within a system characterised by high trust and minimal bureaucracy. This approach empowers them to exercise clinical discretion in providing a comprehensive package of oral health promotion-based oral healthcare."



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