New data from the NHS has revealed a growing staffing crisis for local dental practices, as over a hundred practitioners in the North East and Yorkshire have left the profession in the past twelve months.
The number of dentists have continued to fall in York, with 30 practitioners having left since 2018/19, 10 of them in the last year, further adding to the ongoing dentistry crisis.
This follows a damning report by Healthwatch York published in September 2021, which exposed that some of the city’s practices were reporting waiting lists of up to two years and 80 per cent of people were struggling to access timely care. Out of 39 dental practices in York, not one practice was accepting new NHS adult patients. While only one practice was able to offer NHS treatment to children of patients enrolled on their private care plan.
Councillor Carol Runciman, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care at City of York Council, commented:
“NHS dentistry was in crisis before Covid struck, being left underfunded and overstretched. Covid measures and staffing shortages have only added to the growing problem in York and across the region.
“As well as being unable to receive short term dental support, people are now storing up problems for the future without regular check ups.
“This Government talks a good game about the NHS, but leaving so many people without access to a dentist only adds to the pressure faced by GPs and the NHS.
“Ministers need to show some ambition, make a break from failed systems and underfunding, and set in place an urgent plan which would ensure residents have access to these vital services.”