NHS dentistry in East Worthing and Shoreham

The collapse of NHS Dentistry means that all dentists in East Worthing and Shoreham are closed to new patients. Only one practice is accepting children aged 17 or under.
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People are going to extraordinary measure to do DIY dentistry because they cannot find affordable dental care. Yet Tim Loughton MP failed to vote for a motion in the House of Commons to rescue NHS dentistry, despite local patients finding it impossible to see a dentist.

The motion, debated on January 9th and tabled by the Labour Party proposed:

  • 700,000 more urgent dentistry appointments
  • Incentives to recruit dentists to the areas most in need
  • Supervised toothbrushing in schools for three- to five-year-olds
  • Reform of the NHS dental contract so everyone who needs a dentist can get one
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The vote came as new figures revealed that, of the nine dental surgeries who have provided a recent update in East Worthing and Shoreham, none of them are currently accepting new adult NHS patients. Only one of the nine practices is accepting new patients who are children.

This situation will only worsen when more than 2,000 new dwellings are built across Shoreham’s Western Harbour Arm, Lancing’s New Monk’s Farm and west Sompting as no measures have been taken to increase the provision of NHS dentistry services.

Despite this growing issue in the constituency - which is worse than the regional and national picture - Tim Loughton MP voted against the motion.

According to the British Dental Association, tooth decay remains the most common reason for hospital admissions in children aged between 6 and 10 years. While Healthwatch England has reported horror stories of people forced to pull their own teeth out, with 1 in 10 Brits claiming to have attempted their own dental work.

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Tom Rutland, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for East Worthing and Shoreham, said: "Patients in East Worthing and Shoreham are finding it impossible to see a dentist, with some having to resort to DIY dentistry. Yet when the chance came to do something about it, our local Conservative MP voted against it.

“The Conservatives think that people should be happy with the poor service we have today. Another five years of the Conservatives will see NHS dentistry gone for good.

“Labour has a plan to rescue NHS dentistry from this crisis and get patients seen on time again. We will pay for it by abolishing the non-dom tax status, because people who live and work in Britain should pay their taxes here too.”