Thousands of Rotherham and Barnsley residents will not lose their dentist

Thousands of residents in Rotherham and Barnsley will not lose their dentist after the NHS agreed to extending funding for services in Wentworth and Dearne.

Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 8:57 am

The access to general dental services funding has meant 4,832 patients who previously had not been to a dentist in years – including children – have been able to get check-ups and treatment.

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They have been treated at practices across Rotherham in Wath, Swinton, Rawmarsh, Bramley, Thurcroft and Maltby.

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John Healey MP.

The money was awarded in 2018 because the area had fewer people seeing a dentist and a higher level of deprivation.

In January, John Healey, MP for Wentworth and Dearne warned the Government and NHS England that nearly 5,000 patients in the constituency would lose their dentist if funding was allowed to run out at the end of March.

Dental practices would have had to lay off staff and strike off patients, adding pressure on to hospitals.

After meeting with NHS England on February 16, Mr Healey has received confirmation that the funding has been extended for six months.

NHS England said they would review the scheme and involve dentists to come up with a longer-term plan.

Mr Healey said: “This special scheme has meant nearly 5,000 patients with no dentist have been able to get dental check-ups and treatment over the last three years.

“It has been invaluable and its continuation is essential.

“Losing this funding would be a huge blow to people in our area and to our NHS, and I’m pleased NHS England is listening to me and to local dentists.

“Now we will work hard to secure the funding we need permanently.

“This scheme confirmed there is high demand for NHS dentists in our area, with practices taking on more new patients than expected.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.