10 March 2023


Submission to Government on Access to Dentistry Enquiry




1.1         The purpose of this report is to update Members of the Committee on the submission to the Health and Social Care Committees enquiry into access to dentistry.


2.0         BACKGROUND

2.1         The Government launched an enquiry into dentistry following a survey that showed 90% of practices across the UK were not accepting new adult NHS patients.

2.2         MPs will consider to what extent the current NHS dental contract disincentivises dentists from taking on new patients. They will look at what incentives can be offered by the NHS to recruit and retain dental professionals, also explore the role of training.

They will also explore the possible impact of changes to be introduced next April to make new Integrate Care Systems and Integrated Care Boards responsible for the provision of dental services.

2.3         The enquiry requested a call for evidence on the following points:

1.        What steps should the Government and NHS England take to improve access to NHS dental services?

2.        What role should ICSs play in improving dental services in their local area?

3.        How should inequalities in accessing NHS dental services be addressed?

4.        Does the NHS dental contract need further reform?

5.        What incentives should be offered by the NHS to recruit and retain dental professionals, and what is the role of training in this context?


3.0         NEXT STEPS

3.1         The Committee submitted its evidence on 25th January and awaits the publication of the results.

3.2         The Committee also shared a press release communicating their support for the public enquiry.





4.1         That the Scrutiny Committee notes the content of the report.



Author            Christine Phillipson

Title                Principal Democratic Services and Scrutiny Officer