Patients in Norfolk are being promised big improvements in NHS dentistry over the next 12 months, thanks to a government cash boost and improved communication.
That’s the promise of Nick Stolls, from Norfolk’s local dental committee, who will be updating people of progress at the county council’s health overview and scrutiny committee this week.
He reckons that increased funding and better communication between dentists and Norfolk Primary Care Trust should pave the way for better services this year.
He said: ‘We have had a lot of problems in the past but I think these are evening out now. Patients should be able to access an NHS dentist.
‘Dentists are working a lot more in partnership with the PCT and we are moving in the right direction. The PCT recognised last year that something more substantive needed to be done and they have made a good start.
‘With the funding and better communication, I think the standard of service will improve and we are hoping no more dentists or patients feel forced to leave the NHS.’
The PCT faced a massive budget shortfall in dentistry last year due to a government miscalculation when introducing the contract, so health bosses were forced to use more than £3 million that should have been spent on dentistry to plug its financial deficit.
The changes sparked concern from county councillors last summer where they gave the PCT six months to tackle the issues.
A government injection of £1.1 million helped the ailing service and there are now regular meetings about improving the quality of the service.