Paul Woodhouse speaks to the BBC about the current crisis in UK Dental Access

Practice Owner Paul Woodhouse and Justin Durham, Professor of oro- facial pain, speak to the BBC Breakfast team on Monday 8th August 2022 about the current crisis in NHS Dentistry. 

To view Paul & Justin’s interview in full click here

Paul is a member of the British Dental Association’s Principal Executive Committee, and is a vocal advocate for reform of the current NHS contract.

Justin is a Professor in oro-facial pain. He explained how debilitating dental pain can be, and the risks posed to patients from lack of access to NHS Dental Care.

Paul explained how the current contract is simply not fit for purpose. The NHS funding provided by government is sufficient for only around 50% of the UK population’s dental needs. We simply can not continue to operate a system where the government promises Dental Access for all, but then does not follow this up with appropriate funding.

Practices like ours which provide NHS dentistry do offer access appointments daily for patients in pain or needing urgent dental attention. Due to the overwhelming demand for these appointments most are filled within 5 minutes of opening. 

Dentists and Practice owners across the country are doing what we can to accommodate additional patients, but there is simply no further capacity, and millions of patients are suffering as a result. In the recent BBC commissioned survey 9 out of 10 NHS Practices are unable to accept new NHS patients.

In addition to the access crisis, we now are experiencing a huge recruitment challenge in retaining existing Dentists, Dental Therapists, Dental Hygienists and Dental Nurses to work within this broken NHS system. 

We have a modern & well equipped Practice, competitive pay & benefits, excellent mentorship and peer support and an experienced nursing team but even we have a vacancy for an Associate Dentist, and this experience is echoed within the profession. 

If you are dentist who is passionate about patient care and looking for an opportunity to work in a mixed Practice with a supportive, forward thinking team then do get in touch for more information.

As a values-driven, family run Practice we are committed to providing access to NHS dental services for as long as we are possibly able. We passionately believe that everyone should have access to NHS dental services. Our concern is that without urgent and radical reform of NHS Dental Services, even the most staunch supporters of the NHS will have no option other than to close or fully privatise. 

If you would like to join our fight to save NHS Dentistry, please contact your local MP to stress that this is a priority for you and your family. 


 Author: Ruth Woodhouse | Practice Owner