Penny Mordaunt today outlines how she will break the dentistry backlog and deliver more NHS dentists.
The announcement comes at a time when there are long-running gaps in the dentistry workforce and a backlog of care. The industry is also facing a recruitment crisis, as mutual recognition of European Economic Area qualified dentists is scheduled to end later this year.
As Prime Minister, Mordaunt will provide short-term fixes as well as long-term solutions to these problems.
In the short term, Mordaunt will take steps to ease the recruitment crisis. This will involve granting EU-trained dentist graduates – who made up 22 per cent of General Dental Council (GDC) applications last year – the right to continue working in the UK.
Longer term, Mordaunt will:
- Increase the number of NHS dentist training places in the UK.
- Launch a dentistry training recruitment campaign backed by a target to increase the number of training places within the UK.
- Recognise more dentists who train overseas.
- Allow more dental care professionals to initiate treatments.
- Develop a 12-month UK “adaptation” course for experienced, qualified overseas dentists to gain GDC registration.
- Introduce an expedited 6-month Performer’s List Validation by Experience programme for candidates with more than 1,500 hours of dental experience.
- Accelerate changes to dental therapists’ scope of practice to allow courses of treatment without a prescription from a dentist.
Commenting on her plans for dentistry, Penny Mordaunt MP said:
“Getting access to a dentist, especially when you are in pain, seeing a GP or getting a blood test result back is now a real ordeal. We must ensure in short order that access to healthcare is opened up. I have a plan to do this using flexible commissioning and sensible organisation of patient lists. People need to see a difference within a few months. The announcements yesterday on dentists will help, but we must go further.”