ANDOVER, England, June 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Raman Sankaran, Sales and Marketing Director for Simplyhealth comments on the Independent Review of NHS Dentistry in England.
The long awaited independent review into NHS dentistry in the UK has called for a much more preventative approach to dental provision in the UK. Rather than judging dentists on the quantity of work carried out (or units of dental activity), the report calls for a focus on quality, more information for the patient, and for the patient to be more engaged in their oral health.
The report reaffirms the government's commitment to NHS dentistry, and it is pleasing to hear that the system is not set for a wholesale move to privatisation. We know the financial investment in NHS dentistry is ring fenced until 2010, however, this report calls for a reassessment of the bands that that NHS currently charge their patients under. We already know that 43% of patients are putting off visiting the dentist because they can't afford it (source: Simplyhealth Annual Dental Survey 2009). So it is key that the costing of NHS dentistry remains affordable.
In addition, the report acknowledges the shortages and shortcomings of NHS dentistry, that patients have been struggling to access dentistry, and recommends improvements to the system. Since the new NHS dental contracts were introduced in 2006, the gaps in provision have been widely reported. In fact, the Simplyhealth Annual Dental Survey 2009 found that 35% of people have struggled to find an NHS dentist, and 24% have struggled to find an NHS dentist for their children.
We believe that patients should visit the dentist when they need it, not when they can afford it or can find a dentist with an available window. A move towards this being more widespread can only be good for the patient and for the oral health of the UK as a whole. Therefore improvements to access would be greatly welcomed.
Our concern is whether the government is going to fully adopt these proposals. They have accepted in principal the recommendations but that implementation will be subject to financial review. In addition, as the trials could take up to three years, it could be some time before patients reap the benefits from some of the advice. Therefore, whether people in the UK get better access and a higher quality of dental treatment and care may come down to financial constraints.
We strongly feel that now is the time for the government to invest in NHS dentistry, attract more dentists back into the system, and safeguard the future oral health of the UK.
For more information on Simplyhealth visit http://www.simplyhealth.co.uk.
A full copy of the review can be found at: http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/DH_101137
Notes to Editor
- For further information on the Health Care Cover - UK Market Report 2009 visit http://www.laingbuisson.co.uk - Previously known as HSA, BCWA, LHF, HealthSure and Totally Active, our family of health companies have joined together over the Last 8 years to form Simplyhealth - At Simplyhealth, we have been providing healthcare solutions for over 137 years, dedicated to serving our customers through a variety of Health Cash Plans, Dental Plans, Private Medical Insurance, Healthcare Trusts and Mobility and Living aids - Simplyhealth is a trading name of Simplyhealth Access, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority - As of December 2008, Simplyhealth had 1,388,330 customers providing cover for some 2.5 million people - Simplyhealth is committed in its constitution to making a positive impact on its communities. Each year, we help health related charities and causes to the tune of at least GBP1million
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For further information, please contact: http://www.simplyhealth.co.uk/media-centre. Abby Bowman, Senior Brand and PR Manager. Caroline Lakeman, Public Relations Executive , +44-(0)1264-342570. Rebecca Jeremy, Public Relations Assistant +44-(0)1264-342400 or firstname.lastname@example.org