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Call for Health Secretary Matt Hancock to act on NHS dentist 'crisis' in Haverhill

One dental practice in Haverhill is now accepting new NHS patients, following calls for the Health Secretary to act on the ‘crisis’.

As of Tuesday, Haverhill Dental Centre, in Queen Street, was accepting new patients, after it emerged people needing NHS treatment faced travelling to Linton, Newmarket, Sawston or Sudbury.

The British Dental Association had called on West Suffolk MP and Health Secretary Matt Hancock to act, saying Mr Hancock had pledged to put prevention at the heart of NHS strategy, yet failed to make any commitment to dentistry.

Matt Hancock, health secretary (5807752)
Matt Hancock, health secretary (5807752)

Henrik Overgaard-Nielson, BDA chairman of general dental practice, said: “This is a crisis made in Westminster. Ministers have chosen to fund care for little over half the population.

“If Matt Hancock is serious about putting prevention at the heart of NHS strategy he needs to act on a crisis brewing in his own backyard."

Mr Hancock said: “As the local MP, I have been supporting our NHS services in Haverhill for many years.I am determined to sort this situation out to ensure local people get the services they need.”

Andy Yacoub, chief executive of Healthwatch Suffolk, said dental provision in west Suffolk was 'particularly poor'.

"This has been the case for some time," he said. "The right care should never be dependent upon where you live and commissioners at NHS England must strive for fair and equitable access for all patients.”

Simon Evans, locality director for NHS England Midlands and East (East), said it was 'committed' to ensuring access was available.

"We are working closely with our providers in Haverhill to improve access to services.”

  • To search for practices accepting new NHS patients, go to www.nhs.uk or call the NHS 111 service.

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