MPs call for urgent reform of NHS dentistry including for disabled children

2 mins read

Friday 28 July 2023

Tags: Dentistry, dental services for children with SEND, NHS dentists

A damning parliamentary report has called on the government to take urgent action to end the ‘crisis in access’ in NHS dentistry.

Children, especially those with complex needs,  SEND  and autism are among the people hardest hit by the lack of NHS dentists, according to the report from the Health and Social Care Committee.

Around 27,000 children on specialist dental waiting lists

Recent NHS figures showed that in January around 27,000 children were on waiting lists for specialist dental care, assessments or procedures.

The report paints a depressing picture of ‘dental deserts’ in England with no NHS dentistry. More than 3,000 dentists have left NHS since the covid pandemic.  1 in 5 people are not registered with an NHS dentist and 1 in 10 have resorted to doing their own dental work.

The government not yet published its promised recovery plan for NHS dentistry. 

New NHS Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) in England are now responsible for commissioning NHS dental care, including community dental services for children who cannot use high street dentists.

Last year Contact worked with NHS England to shape new framework for dental services for autistic and learning-disabled children in residential schools, promised in the NHS Long Term plan.

Contact continues to press better dental services for all disabled children.

Our dental care resources

Take a look at our dental care webpage.

Read our parent guide to oral and dental health.

Browse in our Fledglings shop for a great collection of oral health products for disabled children.