Selaine Saxby, MP for North Devon, first launched her dentistry petition in August calling for the Government to provide emergency dental provision in North Devon. On Tuesday 24th October, Selaine presented the petition to parliament with 723 physical signatures and has received a response from Dentistry Minister, Andrea Leadsom.
Over 1,750 people have signed the petition both physically and online. Selaine has now been updated with a response from Dentistry Minister, Andrea Leadsom. The response outlines the new dedicated helpline which has been developed for Devon and Cornwall to assist patients in finding an NHS dentist for routine care and arranging urgent NHS dental treatment for people who do not have a dentist.
Patients with a dental emergency can contact the emergency dental service via the dental helpline on 03330 063 300, to arrange a same day or next day appointment wherever possible within Devon. These appointments are charged at the normal NHS dental rates.
Since being elected Selaine has continuously raised concerns over the availability of dental service, and recruitment and retention of dentists in the region with government ministers, the NHS, the County Council and Integrated Care Board. In September, she raised the issue directly with the Prime Minister on his visit to North Devon District Hospital.
Selaine Saxby, MP for North Devon, said:
“Thank you to Dentistry Minister, Andrea Leadsom for responding to the parliamentary dentistry petition that I submitted in October. I will be enclosing this response to future letters about dentistry from residents in North Devon and would like to reassure residents that Government ministers know exactly how difficult it is for constituents to find a dentist in North Devon and have also spoken with dentists to ascertain their ideas to tackle the problem.
“I recently met with the Minister and it was clear from our meeting that she is determined to tackle the dentistry backlog and improve access to NHS dentists across the country, but I have stressed how severe the problem is in North Devon. Fundamentally we need more dentists to undertake more NHS work, which is the first thing the new minister plans to tackle.
“I have also written and met with Dr Sarah Wollaston, chair of the local Integrated Care Board (ICB) about the South West Dental Reform Programme and indeed how a new ‘Stabilisation Dental Care’ system would work in practice. It is clear that local solutions will be needed and please be assured I will continue to lobby our local NHS, the Government and indeed local council health services to find further solutions and provide support.”