According to a report released by the NHS information centre, an extra 1.12 million people have visited their local dentist since May 2010, after the government vowed to increase the number of people on the NHS dental register. News of the achievement comes as a further £28 million in funding has been pledged to the scheme, and there have been calls for Primary Care Trusts to work more closely with dentists to improve services still further.
Secretary of State Andrew Lansley was pleased with the results, saying ‘I am delighted that an extra one million people are now seeing dentists through the NHS. This just shows that NHS dentistry is becoming more accessible.’ He went on to say that the government was committed to building on this growth even more, whilst making sure dentists were keeping up with the highest care standards for their patients. ‘We will use the findings from these trials to help develop a new dental contract which will help to improve the quality of dental treatment patients receive.’
It is understood that the millions of pounds in funding is aimed at creating a contract whereby dentists can focus on preventative care, and seventy practices across the country are currently testing new schemes, such as paying practitioners for the results they achieve instead of the amount of treatment they provide.