The Somerset Guardian, 26th January 2022

This week, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Primary Care and Patient Safety, Maria Caulfield, wrote to all Members of Parliament to announce the £50 million that the Government is awarding to dentistry.
Throughout the pandemic, dentists had to prioritise the safety of their patients and staff, including the introduction of infection control measures to mitigate against risk of infection from aerosols commonly generated by dental procedures. Although necessary, these measures restricted the number of appointments that the NHS has been able to offer. However, owing to the hard work of the NHS dental teams, the levels of urgent treatment have now recovered to pre-pandemic levels. In spite of this, the Government realises that some individuals still require help, which is why the extra £50 million is being made available to dental practices.

The spending will secure up to 350,000 additional dental appointments for those suffering from oral pain, disease and infections. This funding will be targeted at those most in need of urgent treatment and children will be prioritised, as will people with learning disabilities, autism or serious mental health problems.

The Government remains committed to recovering and reforming NHS dentistry and aside from the extra money being given to the sector it is working with partners, including the British Dental Association, to look at alternative ways of commissioning and improving dental education, training and the implementation of its services.

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