What Will The Additional £20bn For The NHS Mean For Dental Care In Streatham?
Some speculation about whether NHS dentistry will be a beneficiary from this money.
Leaving aside the contentious ‘Brexit dividend’, the additional money granted to the NHS on it’s 70th birthday is to be welcomed.
Although some argue that this less than makes up for lost revenue for the ‘capped’ years, it should certainly help to improve the current situation.
Although the details may not be known for some time, we thought that we would look at how this money may, or may not, benefit our Streatham NHS dental patients.
Will NHS dentistry benefit?
The details are not yet fully known how this money will be spent, but the focus, so far, has been on hospitals. The bad press about waiting times and delayed treatment are probably the issues that will be addressed first. Like all dentists that provide NHS care, we hope that it will also allow patients better access to essential dental care, but the decision is still not clear.
Will it keep NHS prices down?
We can only guess, but we doubt that patients will see a reduction in prices, although it is possible that some may be frozen. Some suggest that it is probably more likely that any money spent on NHS dental care will be used to enable more people to access it. In some areas, this is very difficult and we suspect that this may be the main focus of any improvements, but again no one is sure just yet.
One criticism, in the media, of what we know so far, has been the lack of mention of social care. Whilst the focus has largely been on improving this so that hospital beds are kept free, this does also have an effect on oral health issues. Older people, and those who need daily care may not be able to look after their teeth and gums especially well on their own, and a lack of home help means that more are likely to require emergency dental treatment due to problems such as decay and severe gum disease. So hopefully social care will also receive some additional attention.
It has also been reported that nothing has been mentioned about money for health programmes, such as those aimed at obesity and stopping smoking. Anyone who has read our Confidental Clinic blogs will be aware of how sugar (linked with obesity) and smoking can have a major impact on oral health issues. Children especially could benefit from healthy eating programmes, with far too many currently needing hospital care to have teeth extracted due to decay.
As we have mentioned, it is early days and we will have to see what is in the details as they emerge. Generally, we welcome this increase and hope that essential dental care is not forgotten when the funding is distributed.
If you live in the Streatham area and are looking for an NHS dentist, please call the Confidental Clinic on 020 8674 2052.