Dental patients in Burnley and Padiham are to benefit from access to more appointments thanks to a £50 million national government funding injection.
The northwest is to get £7,310,000 as part of the funding to secure up to 350,000 additional dental appointments across the country allowing people suffering from oral pain, disease, and infection to get the care they need, as services drive back to pre-pandemic levels.
Welcoming the news, Antony Higginbotham, Member of Parliament for Burnley and Padiham said:
It is vitally important that everybody in Burnley and Padiham has access to proper dental care and so I welcome this latest funding boost which will enable up to 350,000 additional dentist appointments.
I’ve helped a number of constituents have contacted me about this issue and it’s something I have personally raised with Ministers. And I’ll continue to raise the provision of dental care with the Government to make sure that we meet our commitment to improve dental care for all residents.
Locally, NHS teams will use the funds to secure increase care capacity amongst local dentists already operating to help patients suffering from oral ill-health.
Those involved in the scheme will be paid more than a third on top of their normal sessional fee for delivering this care outside of core hours, such as early morning and weekend work.
During the pandemic, the NHS has protected dentists’ income when strict infection prevention control guidance meant dentists needed to operate at severely reduced capacity.
Infection prevention control measures were significantly eased in November 2021 and since the start of this year the NHS has required dental practices to operate at 85% of their pre-pandemic contracted activity, the latest stage in the return to pre-pandemic workloads for NHS dentists.
Minister for Primary Care Maria Caulfield MP added:
Access to NHS dentistry has been given a much-needed boost with an extra £50 million announced for NHS dental care services which will urgently give more people access to vital dental care when they need it.
Through the pandemic, we have prioritised urgent dental needs, vulnerable patients and free treatment for children and thanks to the hard work of staff, the delivery of urgent care is back to pre-pandemic levels. We are now working with the dental sector to recover and reform services and this £50 million boost will help with that recovery.
Chief Dental Officer for England Sara Hurley said:
Dental services are a vital part of the NHS providing oral health care to all age groups, and that’s why we have taken this unprecedented action to boost NHS dental services.
More than 600 urgent dental health hubs were rapidly ramped up during the pandemic to deliver urgent care for patients, and the NHS is now getting key services like dentistry back to pre-pandemic levels – injecting an extra £50 million into routine services will help provide check-ups and treatment for hundreds of thousands of people.