Inquiry launched into North Yorkshire dentist shortage

Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Wire
Health bosses have launched an inquiry to investigate why it is proving “challenging” to attract dentists and dental staff to work in North Yorkshire.

Members of North Yorkshire County Council’s scrutiny of health committee will hear NHS England, Health Education England and the dental profession have launched the review following dentists, including one in Catterick, handing back their NHS contracts.

The issue has also been raised with the Dental Deanery to see how post-qualification training places for dentists can be supported at practices in the area, which the aim of encouraging dentists to stay after they have completed their year’s training.

Councillors have previously raised concerns about access to NHS dentistry in some areas of the county, such as the Harrogate and Craven areas.

The meeting will hear NHS England has put interim solutions in place to ensure patients in the county can continue to access NHS dentistry.

An officers’ report to the meeting states NHS England has developed a strategy to support improving access to primary dental care in the Yorkshire and Humber region, following a review of the current provision.

It  said the areas with the lowest number of dental practices per resident had been selected for some extra funding, but no areas in North Yorkshire that had immediately been identified as requiring additional activity.