A WARRINGTON MP has asked the Health Secretary how residents will benefit from a new dentistry recovery plan.

It comes after Victoria Atkins spoke to the House of Commons about the Government’s new plan to recover and reform NHS dentistry.

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care said the vision will ‘make NHS dental care faster, simpler, and fairer for patients and staff’.

She also said that the Government has ‘taken the difficult decisions and delivered a long-term plan’, which ministers are ‘going to get on with and put into action’.

A question was asked of Ms Atkins by Warrington South MP Andy Carter who said: “I welcome what the Secretary of State has said today.

“I also pay tribute to the integrated care board in Cheshire for the work that it has done to make additional appointments available in Warrington.

“It has been incredibly difficult to access NHS dentistry, despite there being many dentists on the high street, because so many have decided to move away from the NHS.

“Can she explain how the changes announced today will incentivise dentists to return to providing NHS services, so that constituents in Warrington South can get the NHS appointments they want?”

In response, Ms Atkins said: “As I have said, dentists are independent contractors, but we want to encourage them back into the NHS if they have left it.

“We have a longer-term vision for our NHS, and through the long-term workforce plan, we will be training 40 per cent more dentists by 2031.

Warrington South MP Andy Carter

Warrington South MP Andy Carter

“That is real ambition and a plan for the long-term future of our country.”

Speaking after Parliament, Mr Carter added: “I really welcome announcement today about NHS dentistry, something I have been campaigning for over the last two years.

“A £200million investment into helping dentistry recover after the pandemic.

“The Government’s plan will help deliver 2.5million more appointments per year, through a range of immediate and long-term initiatives.

Broken down into prevention, recovery and longer-term reform, here is a summary.

“Paying dentists a bonus of up to £50 for each new patient they take on who have not seen a dentist for two years.

“Incentivising dentists to work in rural or underserved areas with £20,000 golden handshakes and rolling out dental vans to the most in need areas to carry out emergency and routine work.

“Launching the Smile for Life programme to assist new parents on prevention and how to reduce dental decay in children.

“Increasing the number of dentistry training places by 40 per cent by 2031/32 in the NHS long-term plan and expanding the water fluoridation programme subject to consultation.”