Kent Dentists Worried About NHS Reforms

February 7th, 2011
Kent Dentists Worried About NHS Reforms

Dentists in Kent are hoping that a new project will help those in need, especially since the Government is embarking on a new reform process.

The £11 million project is aimed at providing dental services to people formerly considered hard to reach.

Speaking with reporters, community dental service’s clinical director Dr Mark Johnstone for East and Coastal Kent NHS Trust said: “With the uncertainty surrounding the NHS, being commissioned by two separate PCTs gives us a bit of stability. “

He added: “In addition, the NHS is saving money by not having a whole new set of management for Newham.

“This process represents a significant shift in the way specialist community dentistry is commissioned, and a real drive to ensure the best possible care for the patient.

“As the NHS has to be more prudent in the use of its budget, and patients’ expectations of the care they receive continue to rise, we have to seek out ways of providing better care and working smarter, to be the best at what we do.”

In a recent speech, Prime Minister David Cameron told NHS staff to “grow up” over the proposed NHS reforms. This as might be expected did not go down too well with doctors, dentists and others who believe the reforms are not only unnecessary, but are also dangerous. Many believe they are just a stepping stone towards privatisation of the health service.

The key priorities for the new dental project are extended opening hours and better access for the under 5’s and those with special needs. The dental team recognise that many people with behavioural and other issues are unable to make use of high street dentists. The new project wants to remove this accessibility problem; that also includes inmates at Holloway Prison.

Dr. Johnstone said: “We have a good model of care in east Kent and we’re building up a good reputation. If all goes well, then hopefully we’ll be able to get even more contracts.

“Obviously there’s a limit to where we can extend to though. I can’t see us managing a dental service in Newcastle, for example.”

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