A NEW dental bus is one of many ideas from the NHS to improve the national dentistry crisis.

In February this year, NHS England announced a national plan dedicated to NHS dentistry services in Dorset.

The following plans are being introduced across England:

  • A £200m cash injection of national funding from the Government.
  • Creation of up to 2.5 million more NHS appointments nationally.
  • Up to 1.5 million more treatments in NHS dentistry.

Included in the NHS plan are three main areas of focus: improving access, growing and supporting the workforce, and supporting prevention.

Now, specifically in Dorset, the NHS is introducing several new initiatives to help the dental crisis.

These include:

Planning improved dental access in underserved areas. This includes improving access to urgent and stabilisation programmes.

• From March 2024, improving access for people who have not been to a dentist in two or more years

• Encouraging dentists to work in areas that historically have been difficult for recruitment.

• Increasing the minimum unit of dental activity (UDA) value from £23 to £28 from April 2024.

• Dorset has also been named along with a handful of areas in England that will be part of a national programme to introduce a dental bus.

A spokesperson for the NHS said: “We absolutely recognise that NHS dentistry needs to improve.

“Services have been under pressure for some time despite teams working hard to meet the rising demand, and whilst we have seen some improvements in access, more needs to be done to ensure that everyone who needs to see a dentist can do so.

“In February 2024 NHS England launched a national plan for NHS dentistry services in England.

“This focuses on key areas including increasing workforce numbers, prevention, and making services more accessible.

“Over the coming months, we will be working with partners including local dental leaders to understand what this means for Dorset and will publish updates on our website when they are available.

“Individuals can find details of other NHS dental services by visiting the NHS Website.

“Any individual can access urgent NHS dental care by contacting NHS111 to be clinically triaged and receive an appointment if appropriate.

“They do not need to have a regular dentist to use this service.”