Another week another PMQ! Two weeks in a row! I was very pleased to be able to raise the great work the University of Suffolk have carried out in collaboration with the local NHS in establishing the new dental centre. This will make a major difference locally by offering approximately 18,000 hours of NHS only dental appointments for local people each year.
It’s also appropriate that I pay tribute to the great work carried out by Jo Churchill MP on this matter. She’s been front and centre of the work here and I’ve been happy to support her.
We do also need to ensure that those who get trained to become dentists, heavily supported by the tax payer, are obligated to give something back to the NHS. I believe the option of a tie-in period, of 5 years for example, should be seriously considered to ensure dentists cannot simply go abroad or into private practise after finishing their training. This would greatly help the issue of access to NHS dentistry.
I was pleased to hear the Prime Minister make clear that he is sympathetic to this and it is being actively considered by the Government.