Leeds sees nine per cent drop in dentists as unions warn NHS dentistry is "hanging by a thread"

Leeds has seen a nine per cent drop in the number of local dentists over the past five years with the NHS facing a potential dentistry crisis.

By Alex Grant
Thursday, 20th January 2022, 4:45 am

Unions have warned NHS dentistry is "hanging by a thread" with some patients facing two-year waits for routine check-ups.

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Data from NHS England and NHS Wales shows more than 2,500 dentists - up to eight per cent of the workforce - stopped treating NHS patients last year.

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In the past year 14 dentists have left Leeds - a three per cent drop in numbers. Picture: Leon Neal / Getty Images.

Leeds has 38 less dentists practising in the area compared to five years ago - a nine per cent drop in numbers.

While in the past year 14 dentists have left the area - a three per cent drop in numbers.

The British Dental Association (BDA) said unhappiness with the NHS dental contract was a key factor.

NHS England said patients who needed care the most should be prioritised, and added it had set up 600 urgent dental centres across England.

The number of NHS dentists in two English clinical commissioning group areas (CCGs) fell by more than a quarter in the year ending March 31, 2021.

The worst-affected was NHS Portsmouth CCG, which lost 26 per cent of its NHS dentists over the past 12 months.

Meanwhile, 28 other English CCGs have lost at least 10 per cent of their NHS dentists.

In Wales, six per cent of NHS dentists stopped treating NHS patients, with 83 fewer dentists than the previous year.

The worst-affected area was the Swansea Bay University Health Board, which had 22 per cent fewer NHS dentists compared to the year before.

The number of NHS and HSCNI dentists in Scotland and Northern Ireland has remained steady over the last three years.

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