Healthwatch in Sussex shares public experiences of dentistry with Parliamentary inquiry

March 8, 2023

As part of its ongoing work to gather and share people’s experiences of local dentistry services, especially NHS dental provision, the three Sussex Healthwatch (Brighton & Hove, East Sussex and West Sussex) have continued our collaboration on this during 2023.

Healthwatch teams in West and East Sussex and Brighton and Hove have all been actively listening to your concerns and in January 2023 we submitted a joint response to the cross-party Health and Social Care Committee (Parliamentary) Inquiry into NHS dentistry. Our response was accepted by the Inquiry and published on 7 March.

The inquiry asked for submissions to cover any or all of the following questions:

  • What steps should the Government and NHS England take to improve access to NHS dental services?
  • What role should ICSs play in improving dental services in their local area?
  • How should inequalities in accessing NHS dental services be addressed?
  • Does the NHS dental contract need further reform?
  • What incentives should be offered by the NHS to recruit and retain dental professionals, and what is the role of training in this context?

Click here to read our submission to the inquiry

Launching the inquiry on 8 December 2022, committee chair and Conservative MP Steve Brine, referenced Healthwatch analysis

“People resorting to DIY dentistry, even taking out their own teeth without anaesthetic or medical care are stories that should belong to another era yet such events are reported to be happening here today” said Mr Brine

“Perhaps it’s not surprising when research shows that some parts of the country have become dental deserts and 90% of dental practices have turned away adults wanting to sign up for NHS services.”

The inquiry is a great example of how the collective strength of the Healthwatch in network in highlighting people’s problems can get politicians to take notice and act.

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