The BBC has reported that the NHS Confederation and NHS Providers have warned that if NHS England does not receive an extra £10bn in finding next year, services may have to be cut.
Despite £140bn already planned to be spent, the groups representing the health service have raised concerns that this is not enough, and have cautioned that patients may be at risk if the budget is not increased. Specifically, they have highlighted that waiting lists may more than double.
The broadcaster repots that waiting lists have hit record levels during the pandemic, with more than 5.45 million people waiting for NHS hospital treatment in England.
Meanwhile, in November 2020 they revealed that NHS data showed 19 million fewer dental treatments were offered in England between March and October in 2020, compared to the same period in 2019. With strict protocols still in place in dental surgeries across the country, fewer appointments are still being offered compared to before the pandemic.
The BBC has also reported how the BDA has warned that the reduction in the number of patients seen, paired with the closing of dentists, could have a dramatic impact on patients' oral health. Adding to this, they explained, “The group sent a questionnaire to all 12,000 owners of NHS and private dental practices. Of the 1,337 who responded, 740 said they would not be financially viable a year from now unless they were given extra support.” The BDA has now written to Matt Hancock, warning that the government risks an “oral health crisis” without any government intervention.
Previously, we shared how the Scottish Government announced a £5m investment to help improve ventilation in dental practices, and there have been calls for practices in England to also receive funding to assist with this matter.