The House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee is launching an inquiry into dental services in England.
It is inviting written submissions regarding the following:
- What is the state of the relationship between the NHS and dentistry?
- How could access to NHS dentistry be improved?
- Where does dentistry fit within NHS primary care services?
- What issues are affecting the wider dental workforce?
- What are the issues in commissioning and payment systems for NHS dental services?
- What needs to be included in, or removed from, the forthcoming NHS dental contract?
- Is there enough focus on prevention in dentistry and what are the avoidable harms that could be addressed?
- What should be done around fluoridation policy and what is the evidence base to support it?
‘Previous governments have acknowledged that the focus of NHS dentistry has been too focused on treatment rather than prevention,’ the inquiry says.
‘The government is currently testing prototypes for a new dental contract with an emphasis on prevention.’
Problems in Westminster
The Committee is inviting evidence on the above from the public, organisations and others with relevant expertise.
This latest move has been welcomed by the British Dental Association (BDA).
It claims to have been working to expose deficiencies in access, funding and raise the profile of dentistry in Parliament.
‘We have pulled out all the stops to push NHS dentistry up the political agenda,’ BDA chair, Mick Armstrong, said.
‘Now the Health and Social Care Committee has a chance to shine a light on a system that is failing patients and practitioners.
‘The government has yet to wake up to the full scale of the crisis in NHS dental services.
‘But we will use this inquiry as another chance to make the point that problems made in Westminster can only be fixed in Westminster.’
Entries can be submitted via the Parliament’s written submission form found here: www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/health-and-social-care-committee/inquiries/parliament-2017/dentistry-services-inquiry-17-19/commons-written-submission-form.