NHS dentistry survey reveals "grim picture"

The NHS dentist contracts introduced earlier this year have not improved access for patients, a new report has warned.

A survey conducted by the British Dental Association revealed that 78 per cent of dentists have not seen an increased number of patients since the introduction of the contracts in April.

In addition, the number of dentists who claimed to devote 95 per cent of their work to the NHS fell from a third to just a quarter in the latest survey.

As a result of dentists leaving the NHS, many patients are seeking private dentistry or forgoing dental treatment altogether.

The BDA's general dental practice committee chairman, Lester Ellman, said that the figures painted a "grim picture" for the future of NHS dentistry.

"The new contract is failing to achieve its aim of making access to NHS dentistry easier for patients," he lamented.

"The survey reflects anxiety and frustration among the dental profession and highlights the need for an urgent and thorough review of the impact that the government's reforms have had."

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