No dentists accepting new NHS patients as Norwich declared a dentist desert by Green Party
Norwich is now an ‘NHS dental desert’, the Green Party has said, after research shows that there are no longer any dentist practices accepting NHS patients in the city.
According to the NHS Find a Dentist website, the closest dentist accepting new NHS patients over the age of eighteen is 33 miles away in Stowmarket, while the closest dentist practice accepting patients under the age of eighteen is 17 miles away in Beccles.
The entry for six dentist practices in Norwich is “This dentist surgery has not given a recent update on whether they are taking new NHS patients. You can contact them directly to ask.” The Green Party has contacted these dentist practices and have found that none were taking on new NHS patients either.
Some dentists have an entry saying that they will accept NHS patients by referral. This is for specific services like sedation so a treatment can be carried out. These dentists are not accepting new NHS patients for check ups and other treatments.
Norwich Green Party has launched a petition calling on Norwich City Council to lobby central government and the NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board to develop a plan of action to improve the provision of NHS dental services across the city.
Alex Catt, deputy leader of the Green Group at Norwich City Council said: “Too many Norwich residents can’t get an NHS dentist and are forced to live in pain or have conditions deteriorate if they cannot afford the large private dentist bills in a cost of living crisis.”
“After 13 years of a Conservative government, the NHS has been systematically underfunded and increasingly privatised. Dental services have not been immune to this and the situation is reaching critical levels in the city. We are calling for Norwich City Council to lobby the government and the NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board to tackle the dental desert that Norwich has become”.
“Please sign the Green Party petition for Norwich City Council to lobby the Integrated Care Board, government and come up with a plan to tackle the dental desert that Norwich has become.”
The petition had more than 63 signatures at the time of publication.
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Image credit: Andrew Hurley – Creative Commons