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1.2 million new mums miss out on free access to NHS dentistry

The Probe, 17th April 2024

As MPs debate the prospect of extending free NHS dentistry to cancer patients the British Dental Association has renewed its call for reform of NHS dentistry, with analysis of official data revealing one and a quarter million new mums have missed out on free dental care due to the pandemic.

Patients are entitled to free NHS dental care if they are pregnant when they start treatment, and for 12 months after the baby is born, but uptake for both groups has crashed during the pandemic.

Preet Kaur Gill, Shadow Minister for Primary Care and Public Health, commenting on the fact that over a million new mums are missing out on free access to NHS dentistry, said:  “It’s shocking that after 14 years of Tory mismanagement, vulnerable patients are unable to access the care they desperately need. Eight in ten NHS dentists aren’t accepting any new adult NHS patients and in some areas it’s 99%. Everyone should be able to access NHS care when they need it. It’s particularly important for pregnant women and new mothers, due to the risk of poor oral health in pregnancy.

“Labour has a plan to rescue and rebuild NHS dentistry, funded by cracking down on tax dodgers. We will deliver 700,000 additional urgent appointments a year, recruit dentists to areas most in need, and get straight to work on reforming the outdated NHS dental contract.

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