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Dentists say the Government is failing NHS patients


As the pressure for dentist to take on new patients increases, dental professionals are questioning government policies on payment and patient registration, with one dentist saying that the system is failing NHS patients. One in three NHS dentists in England is refusing to take on new NHS patients and patients are facing a waiting list of up to nine months for those surgeries that are taking on new patients.

Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, said that the issues needed to be addressed ‘imminently’ or ‘we are going to see a repeat of queues round the block if somebody does manage to open a new NHS surgery.’ He added that ‘dentists would like to be doing more NHS work but are unable to because they’re unable to get the contracts to do it.’

According to NHS regulations, dentists have to be clear about their availability and should not require NHS registration before a patient can get treatment. A spokesperson for the Department of Health said ‘It is not acceptable for dentists to mislead patients about their services. Practices need to be clear on whether they accept new patients, the length of their waiting lists and charges.’

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