Promoting Gum Health Day for beautiful smiles.
11th May 2022
Gum Health Day, and is promoted by the EFP (the European Federation of Periodontology). This year the slogan is "Treat… read more
Like many dentists, especially for practices offering NHS services, we are increasingly concerned about the lack of access to NHS dental treatment for our patients. Our concern is not limited to SpaDental, but we are concerned for dentistry in the South-West and across the country.
A combination of the pandemic and Brexit has led to a shortage of dentists in England impacting on the number of appointments available for NHS dental treatment. In short, the result is that there are simply not enough dentists. At SpaDental, for example, we have staff who have returned to Europe because of Brexit, or taken early retirement rather than continue to work during the pandemic.
Foreseeing the problem, we have put a lot of time into recruiting. Unfortunately, we have not been able to hire new dentists to take on NHS work, even though our rates are competitive and working conditions are good.
You can help by contacting your local MP’s office to let them know how you feel about the lack of access to NHS dental care. We are trying, but we need action from both the NHS and from central government on these two issues:
1: Schedule more examinations for dentists to qualify
We need our government to strongly encourage the General Dental Council (GDC) to offer more opportunities for candidates qualified overseas to sit the Overseas Registration Examinations so they can work as dentists in England. For example, we have recruited three dentists with overseas qualifications to work in Plymouth and Saltash, yet they can only work as dental therapists until the GDC gives them the opportunity to take their exams.
2: Allow direct access to hygiene for NHS patients
Dental therapists have a broad scope of practice. They deliver excellent preventive treatments, care for children’s teeth, and can place fillings. However, while a private patient can go directly to a dental therapist, an NHS patient cannot. This means that although we have allocated NHS funding, without a dentist we cannot use it. We are talking with the NHS to try to find a way the NHS can fund your treatment with our dental therapists.
When should I contact my MP?
MPs can help with issues that are the responsibility of UK Parliament. They represent their constituents and can help with issues such as:
- hospitals and the NHS
- problems with benefits, pensions and national insurance
- school closures and funding
- transport facilities
We understand our patients’ frustration with the lack of access to NHS dental care. The SpaDental team continues to help our patients from Saltash with emergency and essential care. We must, however, work with due regard to our staffing shortages.
We need a solution for the provision of NHS care to be facilitated by the NHS and our government. Meanwhile, we will continue to prioritise essential care and do our very best to help you when you most need us.
Our sincere thanks to you for continuing to be understanding of the current circumstances.
To help patients in our most affected area get in touch with their local MP, here’s a handy list of local MPs’ offices:
Plymouth, Moor View
Johnny Mercer MP
Tel: 01752 876979
Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport
Luke Pollard MP
Phone: 01752 717 255
South East Cornwall
Sheryll Murray MP
Tel: 01579 349186
South West Devon
Sir Gary Streeter MP
Phone: 01752 335666
"Better than you could ever imagine - As always everyone involved with Spadental treats you with respect and dignity. Happy to have a friendly chat and always seem genuinely interested. I always leave the practice feeling happy- which might seem strange after just having dental treatment but that's the affect all the team always seem to have on me. Arranged a follow up appointment the very next day, as a cancellation had just come in.…More Testimonials
"Lovely staff - I have been with you for 17 years and I am still coming to you. Every one is so helpful and always talks to you." LE Thank you for your reviews The staff at SpaDental Chard feel proud to read your reviews. Your lovely comments, and your good opinion mean a lot to us. We appreciate the time and thought you put into writing about how your visit to the dentist went.…More Testimonials
It hasn't been an easy year, but our patients have been so understanding. Thank you all so very much for your kind support and the lovely feedback we've received. Your kind support is very motivating It means a lot to the SpaDental Chard team to read your feedback. Your feedback is important to us as it helps us work on continual improvement of our services. Our sincere thanks to all of you have taken the…More Testimonials
We've been catching up with our patients to find out how their treatment has been over the last months. This has been such a hard year for many of us, personally and professionally, and access to dental care has been affected in many ways by the pandemic. We'd really like to take this opportunity, therefore, to thank you for your understanding. We know that you have had to cope with cancellations and changes to our…More Testimonials
With the ups and downs of the last year, we'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of our patients for your support and understanding. Your thoughtfulness is reflected in the considerate comments we've received in response to our request for feedback. We truly appreciate your kind thoughts. Thank you from all of us for your lovely reviews of SpaDental Tewkesbury. A selection of your reviews: "The service during the last few months has…More Testimonials
SpaDental Whitchurch dentist is accepting new private patients. A new patient testimonial After the closure of my local dentist in Whitchurch I telephoned Spa Dental who made me an appointment. Unfortunately I had an abscess on my tooth before my appointment date, for which I was given an emergency appointment. I am a very nervous patient and it took a long time to build confidence with my old dentist , therefore my nerves were bad and I…More Testimonials
Kind words from our patients mean a lot to us. Thank you! We're very happy to read reviews that commend the Plymouth team and the dentists "excellent care" and "professional service". Recent patient reviews commend our excellent care: "In safe and caring hands - Without exception the treatment I have received has been outstanding. From the reception staff through each of the individuals involved, their focus is on you and you're fully involved in any…More Testimonials
We very much enjoyed reading the lovely Saltash patient reviews we've received in response to our recent request for feedback. On behalf of all the staff, thank you so much for your lovely comments. We sincerely appreciate your kind words, and will also use your recommendations in our planning. SpaDental considers your review comments carefully. We read them all, and use the information we gather to guide our practice so we can keep on improving…More Testimonials
A very appreciative thank you to our patients from the clinicians and staff at SpaDental Chard. It has been a pleasure reading your comments because if our patients are happy, then we're happy. Feedback about the team and treatment from SpaDental Chard reviews "Everyone in the practice is efficient, professional and knowledgeable." - HCG "5 Star Dental Care - Being in the centre of Chard, [the SpaDental] surgery is easily accessible for most patients. The…More Testimonials
SpaDental Plymouth sincerely thanks everyone who responds to our request to review the practice. We love reading all your positive comments. That said, we also take on board the suggestions you make. Because we take Plymouth patient reviews seriously, we read them carefully to see if anyone is less than satisfied with their experience and we use that information to guide our practice. Our review rating of 4.7 stars (out of 5) highlights Plymouth patient…More Testimonials