The figures, published by The Information Centre, show that more than half a million people across England have lost access to NHS dentistry since the implementation of reforms in April 2006:
• 28,145,000 patients were seen by an NHS dentist in England in the 24 months up to 31 March 2006.
• 27,602,000 patients were seen by an NHS dentist in England in the 24 months up to 30 September 2007.
This is a reduction of 543,000 patients.
Today’s statistics offer fresh evidence that the Government’s reforms to NHS dentistry have failed to achieve the stated aim of improving access to care for patients. The reforms have also failed to allow dentists to deliver the kind of modern and preventive care they believe their patients deserve. The loss of access to NHS dental care for half a million patients is a milestone in the failure of these reforms. It’s time for the UK Government to start listening to patients and dentists and work with the profession to find constructive solutions to address the problems with these reforms.
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