NHS England and NHS Improvement have published detailed guidance setting out the support for NHS dentistry during the pandemic. To minimise the spread of infection, routine dentistry is currently suspended. NHS practices are providing telephone advice and triage at urgent dental centres to patients with urgent needs. NHS dentists will receive their usual remuneration in full, or in part if they do part-NHS, part-private work. Dentists can also seek help via all the Treasury means for lost income.
My constituents in Elmet and Rothwell have reported difficulties in obtaining emergency dental care in Leeds. Will the Minister detail what actions her Department is taking when this specific issue comes up in, say, Leeds so that patients can access emergency care during the lockdown?
Of course. As of the week ending 30 April, there were two urgent dental care centres in the Leeds area to provide urgent dental treatment and care for patients on referral either from the patient’s own dentist or from NHS 111. As with all urgent dental care centres, there is also a triage service that will give people advice, antibiotics or painkillers and then refer them through if clinical work is required. There are 308 urgent dental centres open across the country. I regularly talk to the chief dental officer and to the British Dental Association about the needs and requirements in the profession so that we can care for patients in the best way.