Thursday, 26 November 2009

Knowle among worst for NHS dentists

KNOWLE residents suffer among the worst access to NHS dentists in Solihull borough, health bosses say.

About half of residents were seeing NHS dentists, putting it fifth from bottom out of 17 borough areas.

Yet NHS chiefs are due to agree an increase in cash to Balsall Common and Shirley only.

Solihull Care Trust bosses say there needs to be more demand from residents in other areas.

A report says many are put off from applying for an NHS dentist as they do not think one is available.

It adds: “There is a clear evidence base that cost of treatment and fear reduce demand and some people still continue to attend only when they have a problem, or choose not to at all.”

Many dentists stopped treating NHS patients when a new contract was brought in in April 2006.

At the time 101,360 borough patients had seen a dentists in the last two years – by this September this had fallen to 92,908, up from 90,665 in March.

The report says: “This puts Solihull well below the national average and also at the bottom in relation to West Midland PCTs and on this basis makes dental access a particular failing for the trust.”

Regional health bosses told the trust to get to 109,974 by March 2011.

It urged Knowle and Dorridge patients to try and get a dentist managed by another trust.

Click here to read the report and others to be discussed by SCT.