Of the practices listed by NHS England as providing access for patients in Beverley, none are currently accepting new NHS patients, and the situation is little better in the rest of the constituency. Residents have been told that they will need to travel as far as Cottingham or Hull in the hope of obtaining dentistry through the NHS.
Having discovered this, Graham wrote to Moira Dumma, Director of Commissioning Operations for Yorkshire and the Humber at NHS England, to press her to remedy the situation.
Concerns also remain over unacceptable waiting times in many cases. There exists no statutory minimum requirement for the maximum waiting times, although NHS England stress that practices are encouraged to do ‘everything possible’ to minimise delays.
Graham said: “It is concerning to see local residents forced to travel elsewhere in order to receive the NHS dental services that they deserve. I am urging NHS England to review the current availability that they provide in Beverley and Holderness, which is clearly not up to scratch.”
In a letter to Mr Stuart, Ms Dumma commented: “NHS England is committed to ensuring that all patients that wish to access NHS Dental Services can do so and we are currently reviewing how we can improve access to NHS dentists across our region and looking at how we can introduce additional capacity from within our existing budget.
“We are looking at both in-hours and out of hours’ services and at how people can be better signposted to the most appropriate services. We will be paying particular attention to areas where we know this is particularly challenging. We hope to have completed this work in the next few months.”