Today (9 Jan) Peter Gibson MP spoke in the House of Commons in a debate about dentistry in England.
Darlington has faced a dental crisis since the NHS dentist at Firthmoor closed with no provider yet chosen by the Integrated Care Board who commission NHS dentistry.
Peter spoke about the urgent need for a change regarding the way that ICBs allocate NHS funding and ensuring that the system is a fair one for patients and dentists.
Speaking in the debate Peter stated ‘My constituency office has received enquiries from almost 200 residents who have been unable to access NHS dentistry services.’
He went on to say, ‘When the Northeast and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board took over responsibility for Dentistry in April last year, I was filled with fresh hope that a resolution would be found to the local situation in Darlington, I was assured that emergency provision would be expanded and additional commissioning would be provided at a higher UDA to further expand provision in Darlington. Imagine my dismay and disappointment when in late November I learned that little if nothing had been done. Literally nothing.’
Peter raised the point that there are no dentists on the board of the ICB and criticised a focus on ‘internal bureaucracy’ rather than delivering for Darlington calling on the Government to give ICB’s a ‘boot up the backside and get them to pull their finger out’.
Peter also praised the Governments Dental Recovery Plan and stated that it ‘cannot come soon enough’ and mentioned that more must be done in terms of dental training, access to dentists in schools, clarity for patients that they do not need to be registered with dentists and a focus on mobile dentists in areas of most need.
This follows Gibson’s longstanding campaign on the dentistry crisis in Darlington which can be followed on his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Gibbo4Darlo/?locale=en_GB.
The letter can be viewed here: https://www.petergibson.org/sites/www.petergibson.org/files/2024-01/Letter%20to%20Sam%20Allen%201.pdf