BDA hails councillors backing action in face of 50,000 strong waiting lists
A cross party group of councillors lead by independent Loic Rich has cited new NHS England data showing over 48,000 patients on NHS waiting lists in Devon and Cornwall – facing average waiting times of 477 days. Just 18,508 were on waiting lists in January 2016, facing average waiting times of 357 days. The BDA has contacted a leading recruitment agency that has been unable to fill a single vacancy in Cornwall in the last 12 months, with even ‘golden handshakes’ insufficient to attract candidates to the area.
BDA analysis of nhs.uk has shown patients in Bodmin face round trips of up to 65 miles to Redruth to find practices able to accept new adult NHS patients. Patients in parts of Cumbria face journeys of up to 90 miles.
A recent national survey of dentists has underlined the depths of the current recruitment crisis, which is being felt in both urban and rural areas. 75 per cent of NHS practice owners in England struggled to fill vacancies last year – rising to 84 per cent among those with the highest NHS commitments. Figures have risen markedly in recent years, up from just 50 per cent in 2016. Data also shows nearly three in five practitioners (59 per cent) based in England are now planning to scale down or leave NHS work entirely in the next five years, rising to 67 per cent among those with higher NHS commitments.