A template press release from Lib Dem HQ on the number of adults and children who have had an NHS dentist appointment by area in the past two years
Please note that this is for use in England only, as there is no data for Scotland or Wales.
You may want to change the percentage figure to the closest number out of ten for the purposes of the press release, for example use 3 in 10, rather 30.9%.
Dental crisis: Only X in 10 patients in [AREA] have been seen by an NHS dentist in past two years
The number of people who’ve seen an NHS dentist in [AREA] has plummeted in recent years, shocking new figures uncovered by the Liberal Democrats have revealed.
Only [INSERT Column P, X%), or (X in 10 ) of adults in [AREA], were able to secure an appointment with an NHS dentist in the past two years. This is down from [INSERT COLUMN D, X] in ten who saw an NHS dentist in the two years up to 2018.
In a similarly desperate situation, only [INSERT Column Q, X%), or X in ten children in [AREA] have been able to see a dentist in the last 12 months, despite the NHS recommending under-18s see a dentist at least once a year. This is down from X in ten children who had seen an NHS dentist in the year to 2018.
The stark figures were compiled by the House of Commons Library following a request by the Liberal Democrats.
It comes as distressing polling has found that one in five (21%) adults unable to see a dentist have carried out DIY dentistry in a desperate attempt to relieve their pain.
The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to set out an NHS winter rescue plan this week as soon as Parliament returns, to provide urgent help to those living in dental agony. This would also include immediate action to reduce dangerously long ambulance waiting times and speed up access to healthcare for the almost seven million people stuck on NHS waiting lists.
[NAME], Liberal Democrat Spokesperson/Candidate/Councillor (delete as appropriate) for [AREA] said:
“Far too many people in AREA are struggling to see an NHS dentist and get the affordable dental healthcare they need.
“We’ve reached a breaking point in this crisis. NHS dentist appointments are becoming harder to get than ever and some practices are shutting their doors to NHS patients all together, but the government is missing in action.
“As the cost of living catastrophe continues to hit households hard, private dentistry is not a feasible alternative for the many people living in pain.
“It’s a national scandal that people in our community are desperately turning to dangerous DIY dentistry because our public health services have been run into the ground by this Conservative government.
“The Liberal Democrats are urging the Government to fund an NHS winter rescue package to improve access to NHS dental appointments, reduce ambulance waiting times and speed up treatment for those who need it.”
Notes to editor
Original source: NHS Dental Statistics (Annual reports 2017-18 - 2021-22).