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After 30 million appointments were lost after the first lockdown, accessible dental care risks “vanishing into the void”, the British Dental Association (BDA) and Healthwatch England said.
Limited funds mean dentists are struggling to meet people’s needs, while four in five patients, including children, who contacted Healthwatch said they have struggled to access timely care.
Writing to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, the organisations called for a recovery plan for dentistry – saying patient fees should not be increased to balance the books.
Sir Robert Francis QC, chair of Healthwatch England said: “Lack of access to NHS dentistry has exploded, with both the volume of feedback and negative sentiment through the roof.The Government needs to use the spending review to provide vital investment.”
BDA chair Eddie Crouch said: “Simply telling dentists to do more with less will not provide the care our patients need.”
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