Bishop of Exeter asks about access to dental service in rural communities

The Bishop of Exeter asked a question on access to dental services for rural communities on 31st January 2022, during a debate on issues in NHS dental care:

The Lord Bishop of Exeter: My Lords, the report of Healthwatch England states that, of all the areas in the country with lack of access to NHS dentistry,

“the worst affected is Devon, as there are currently no practices showing as taking on adult or child patients.”

Can the Minister assure the House that, as part of the Government’s levelling-up policy, rural communities in Devon and elsewhere will not be further disadvantaged and will have access to NHS dental services?

Lord Kamall (Con): I am sure the right reverend Prelate will acknowledge that one of the things we have learned from Covid, the lockdown and its subsequent impact has been about the health inequalities that exist across the country. Both my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Health and I believe strongly in tackling inequalities; that is one of the reasons why we are keen that this comes to the forefront of the forthcoming Health and Care Bill. But we acknowledge the inequalities and are working with the NHS and the BDA to address them.


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