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UK Against Fluoridation

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Health watchdog gets teeth into Bradford's NHS dentist shortage

A HEALH watchdog wants patients in Bradford to help it carry out a check-up on the shortage of NHS dentists. People are being encouraged by Healthwatch Bradford and District to take part in a short on-line survey to build up an accurate picture of the problem.

A public survey is under way into Bradford's shortage of NHS dentistsThe public survey is the independent organisation's latest project to gather enough evidence to campaign for positive changes, said Andrew Jones, manager of Healthwatch.

The Healthwatch team is also out and about in the community in places likes children’s centres, bus stations, and shopping centres, asking people about their dental experiences.

Mr Jones said Healthwatch was hearing continually hearing from people in the district who are frustrated because they are having difficulty getting an NHS dentist.
"We’ve made access to NHS dentistry one of our priorities, and we’re gathering evidence from the public in order to campaign for changes.”

Mr Jones said Healthwatch had met MPs, including Judith Cummins (Lab, Bradford South) who raised the issue at a recent Prime Minister’s Questions, to discuss the problems people have getting a dentist which, he said, go hand-in hand with poor oral health in many parts of the district.
In Bradford, 46 per cent of five-year-olds have tooth decay, compared with 28 per cent across England.
The findings of the Healthwatch survey will be presented to NHS England and others to come up with better ways of delivering dental services across the district so everyone who needs NHS dentistry can get it in Bradford.
Victoria Simmons, communications manager for Healthwatch said: “We have spoken to many people who cannot find a dentist anywhere near where they live and then may face a long waiting time.
"Oral health issues are a particular issue for people living in the inner city, and lots of the parents we speak to are worried because their children’s teeth aren’t being regularly checked.
“We know that there’s lots of work being done, particularly focusing on children, to educate families about good oral health, and successful programmes like Building Brighter Smiles and the fluoride varnish scheme. But it’s a real worry if alongside this people can’t get seen by a dentist............


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