NHS dental charges will raise this year
Posted on 11th March 2019 at 19:26
NHS dental charges will raise by 5% in 2019-20
Steve Brine, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health and Primary Care, released a statement today (11th March 2019) where he said “we have taken the decision to uplift dental charges for those who can afford it, through a 5% increase this year”.
The increase in NHS dental treatments will not impact patients who qualify for free dental treatment; those under the age of eighteen, those under the age of nineteen and in full-time education, pregnant women or those who have had a baby in the previous twelve months, and those on qualifying low income benefits.
NHS band 1 treatments (includes examination, diagnosis with radiographs, advice on how to prevent future problems, scale and polish if clinically needed, and preventive care, e,g. applications of fluoride varnish or fissure sealant) will raise by £1.10 from £21.60 to £22.70; Band 2 treatments (covers everything listed in band 1, plus any further treatment such as fillings, root canal work or extractions) will increase by £3.00 from £59.10 to £62.10; Band 3 treatments (covers everything listed in band 1 and 2, plus course of treatment including crowns, dentures, bridges and other laboratory work) will increase by £12.80 from £256.50 to £269.30 in 2019-20.
Steve Brine also said “this policy will allow us to continue to protect the most vulnerable through exemptions and the NHS low income scheme. We therefore consider that the proposed uplifts in charges are fair and proportionate and will support NHS front line services”.
Complex NHS treatment charges have increased four times faster in England than in Wales over the past five years. Bands 2 and 3 treatments fees have raised by 23% since 2014/15 in England and are expected to increase by only 7% in Wales during the same period.
British Dental Association (BDA) reaction
The BDA’s Chair of General Dental Practice, Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen reacted to this statement, “despite pledges of record NHS investment, our patients are being singled out to pay more, just so ministers can pay less. These inflation-busting hikes don’t put a penny of new investment into this service and will do nothing for patients unable to find an appointment, or the practices struggling to recruit staff. Dentists share the government’s commitment to prevention but we cannot make progress when low income, high needs patients keep being offered reasons not to attend”.
Nearly 20% of patients have delayed treatment for reasons of cost according to official statistics. Studies show 380.000 patients with toothache are choosing to head to their General Practitioners and some 135.000 patients per year are attending A&E units with dental problems.
If you want to read the full written statement, click here.
Tagged as: General Dentistry
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