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MP calls for more NHS dentists in Cumbria

April 5, 2013 2:24 PM

TF at DentistFollowing the release of statistics showing that the number of people admitted to hospital with dental problems has increase by 23 per cent in Cumbria between 2010/11 to 2011/12, South Lakes MP Tim Farron has called on the local NHS to make more dentist places available across the county.

In the period December 2010 to November 2011 there were 764 admissions to hospital where the main health problem required a dental procedure. Between December 2011 and November 2012 the number of hospital admissions for dental problems increased to 940, a 23 per cent increase. Cumbria is a particularly notable case because the national statistics for hospital admissions due to dental issues dropped by 1.1 per cent.

Tim has expressed his concern at the apparent failure of the NHS in Cumbria to ensure residents have access to NHS dentistry, and is now focusing his calls on the new Clinical Commissioning Groups and the government to improve the situation. Tim is well-known for his campaigns to improve NHS dentistry access in the South Lakes.

Speaking after the release of the figures, Tim said: "I don't understand why Cumbria would be such a special case that the number of people with access to an NHS dentist would fall so much when the rest of the North West hasn't had the same problem.

"It's clear that as dentists left the profession in the wake of the 2006 changes, they have not been replaced. NHS Cumbria needs to take action now to improve this situation quickly.

"We also need to make sure that with the changes to the way services are commissioned dentistry is not forgotten and that the CCGs continue to try and improve access for local residents. I will be working in Westminster to make sure that that happens. Local people have already paid for NHS dentistry through their taxes - it is high time that they should be able to get what they have paid for!"