Dentists near me: Lack of dentists in Barnsley partially down to Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit
Dentistry across the UK is facing ‘tremendous difficulties’, caused in part by the coronavirus pandemic, according to dental experts.
A ‘growing backlog’ of routine dental appointments in Barnsley has been partially explained by extra cleaning measures to stop the spread of Covid, prioritising emergency treatment over routine appointments, and a lack of dentists.
Margaret Naylor, Chair of the Local Dental Network South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw told a meeting of Barnsley Council’s overview and scrutiny committee yesterday (November 30) that the backlog of appointments is a ‘multi-faceted problem’.
“We’ve also lost all the EU dentists with Brexit, and that’s made a big difference,” said Ms Naylor.
“The other thing that’s slowed us down is if you do have an overseas dentist, they have to do a special exam, and that’s been slowed down because of Covid, so it’s a multi-faceted problem.
“I think [Brexit] has made more of a difference in the reluctance to come to England. Before, we used to have quite a steady stream of dentists from Spain and Portugal, and that’s gone now.
Deborah Pattinson, dental commissioning lead for Yorkshire and the Humber, NHS England, told the meeting that when dental surgeries re-opened in June 2020, they prioritised patients needing urgent care.
“What that ultimately has meant is, going back to March 2020, there has been a significant reduction in the availability of appointments.
“Practices have been delivering a much reduced contractual target, because of safety measures, and PPE and infection prevention and control, mandatory requirements such as having to empty their clinical space, keep it ventilated after an aerosol generating procedure.
“That’s obviously This is how you've rated these Sheffield dental practicesimpacting the number of appointments a practice can safely deliver. There is a growing backlog.”