Health experts quizzed on Derby’s dental health crisis

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An urgent meeting is taking place tonight (Tuesday) over major concerns that people are struggling to register with a dentist in Derby, have been dropped from surgeries or are constantly struggling to get an appointment. Fears of a ‘crisis in Derby’s NHS dentistry’ were voiced by worried advisers earlier this year who sought an emergency meeting on the ‘deeply concerning’ issue.

Concerns were raised in February that NHS patients in the city were finding they were being abandoned by dentists. There are also local fears that children may also be taken off the rolls, with the crisis impacting the younger generation.

Derby City Council’s adult emergency meeting and health review committee will take place in the bedroom at Derby Council House tonight, with councilors expecting to grill health experts on what may be done to improve the situation. The council’s Child and Youth Oversight Committee will also play a key role at the meeting due to concerns that dental issues are impacting children’s lives.

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The concerns follow earlier reports before Christmas that dental practices in Derby and across the country were not accepting new NHS patients due to capacity. Not all dentists are registered with the NHS, as some are private or may have a mix of NHS and private patients.

In a statement released ahead of tonight’s meeting, Labor Councilor and Chair of the Adult and Health Oversight Committee, Alison Martin, said she was deeply concerned about the situation and that tonight’s meeting was a way to research improvements to help thousands of people in Derby. “Many people in Derby find it difficult to access an NHS dentist, even for their children,” she said.

“The number of appointments available is still limited due to the pandemic, but an increasing number of dental practices are removing NHS patients from their lists and inviting people to join private health insurance schemes. For some years, NHS dentistry has been two-tiered, with excellent service for private patients and lesser service for NHS patients. Now it looks like getting NHS dentistry is getting very difficult.

“Right now people are spending a lot of time on the phone to find an NHS appointment with a dentist. But people need a dentist they know and trust. I will talk to the NHS locally about what needs to be done, and we need to demand more funding for government dentistry. »

At a meeting in February, Conservative Councilor Rob Cooper called for an emergency meeting. “I think it’s something that’s not seen in our community – we really need to address this – it needs the utmost urgency,” he said.

The meeting, which starts at 6pm, can be seen live on Derby City Council’s YouTube page.

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