MP says Peterborough is a 'dental desert' as lack of services named as one of biggest health concerns in the city
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In a meeting with Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Department of Health and Social Care Neil O’Brien MP last month, Mr Bristow said: “There has been an increase in the number of dentists performing NHS activity. That is clearly not happening across the board, and Peterborough is one of those dental deserts.The second biggest complaint to my healthwatch is a lack of dental services.”
Mr Bristow called on the Government to ensure that an increase in dentistry is seen across the country.
Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Peterborough said the lack of availability of NHS dental services is among the biggest areas of concern raised.
A spokesperson for the organisation said: “Following our ‘Finding an NHS Dentist’ report published in January 2019, we’ve continued to track enquiries to our Information & Signposting team and identified a substantial upward trend in the number of people contacting us with concerns about dentistry. It is consistently the second most common subject we hear about, behind GP services.
“This situation is due to issues such as a shortage of NHS dentists and dental nurses, recruitment challenges and backlogs resulting from the Covid pandemic.”
Julian Stanley, CEO of Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Peterborough added: “Our Information and Signposting service is here to help if people are struggling to find a dentist. We encourage members of the public to contact us to share their experiences, and any concerns about the availability of dental services.
"Doing so enables Healthwatch to amplify the voice and opinions of local people. The feedback we receive is used to make the Integrated Care System aware of the issues and gaps in current service provision.
“We continue to track and monitor dentistry enquiries and report back to the local Integrated Care Board, as dental care is so vital to the health of people across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
“We have also contributed evidence to Healthwatch England’s submission to the government’s current enquiry into NHS dentistry in England.”
For more information, visit https://www.healthwatchpeterborough.co.uk/advice-and-information/2022-07-22/finding-nhs-dentist-peterborough