Written evidence submitted by Helen Field (DTY0086)
I am a member of the following campaign group:
Toothless in Southampton.
We have organised 4 street stalls in 2022 when we talked to members of the public, gave out leaflets and had a banner reading “An NHS dentist for Everyone.”
The response was huge. People were literally queuing up to tell us their stories of being unable to access an NHS dentist.
It seems to me that a lot of the problems stem from the government contract with dentists in 2006 or thereabouts. NHS dentist do not get enough revenue and are forced to become private dentists in order to survive.
As with many staff in the NHS, pay is a big issue. The government needs to pay dentists enough to retain them, and train more dentists. Allow them to train without having to pay university tuition fees.
It is really appalling that the citizens of the UK cannot access NHS dentistry. Prevention is so important, yet millions cannot even afford a check up.
What about children in low income families? With exorbitant costs for heating and food, I cannot see how many families will be able to afford a private checkup for their children, let alone treatment.
We do seem to have a very strange way of governing at the moment. Basic needs are not being met for millions of UK citizens.