Thousands of patients are unable to see an NHS dentist due to a recruitment crisis, the Daily Mail reports.
Mydentist, with more than 650 practices around the UK, admits that it is struggling to fill vacancies in its practices.
This has led to many patients having treatments cancelled at the last minute and having to find another practice.
‘We support over 4m patients each year with the full range of dental treatments and continue to do so across our practices,’ Tom Riall, CEO at IDH Group, which runs Mydentist, said to the Daily Mail.
‘In a small number of areas however we, like many other dental practices, are struggling to recruit enough dentists.
‘We are doing everything we can to minimise the impact of this and to continue providing high-quality, timely care to all of our patients.
‘Last year, 68% of the UK’s dental practices that tried to recruit struggled to do so, and this problem is only going to get worse unless this issue is addressed.
‘We support the Government’s decision to remove doctors from the tier two visa cap, but urgent action is now needed to ensure other parts of the NHS, including dentistry, can recruit the skilled clinicians they need to support patients.
‘We want to work with the Government and the wider dental sector to ensure this happens.’
Mydentist is pointing to a national shortage of dentists as the main reason it is struggling to fill vacancies.
The British Dental Association (BDA) has backed Mydentist’s calls for the Government to focus more on NHS dental services.
It has pointed to the cuts made by the Government to dental services, with spending on average dropping from £41 to £36 per person.
‘We are committed to supporting dentists and making sure the public can access top quality care, which is why we are trialling a reformed contract, which better supports dentists, and have near record numbers of dentists working in the NHS,’ a Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said.
‘NHS England monitors local recruitment closely and we expect them to take appropriate action where any issues are identified.’
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