George calls for fair NHS dental provision

Posted on: 3rd January 2012

West Cornwall MP, Andrew George, has called on health bosses to address the continuing lack of NHS dentists in his constituency and the apparent disparity of provision across Cornwall.

Despite the opening of a new dental service at the Lescudjack Centre in Penzance last summer, thousands of people remain on a waiting list for treatment.

Two dentists in Penzance gave up their NHS dental contacts in 2010. It is understood that the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Primary Care Trust went out to tender for a replacement contract but did not receive any suitable bids. Consequently, the Trust set up the service at the Lescudjack Centre as well as increasing its funding to the Penwith Dental Practice in Penzance.

In a recent letter from the Chief Executive of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Primary Care Trust, Steve Moore, informed Mr George that the waiting list for an NHS dentist in Penzance was over 4,000 while there is no waiting list in Truro!

Mr George said: “Despite the Trust’s efforts, many locals are still waiting too long for a place with an NHS dentist.

“I was recently advised by the Trust that there are now no waiting lists for an NHS dentist in Truro, however, in Penzance, thousands of people still have to wait. This is clearly unacceptable. There is a perception in Cornwall that Truro always gets the cream. As they are closest to the emergency dental service, it really should be the other way around.”