Stephen Morgan MP today [12 January] visited the University of Portsmouth’s newly opened and refurbished dental academy, amid his efforts to ensure Government takes action on the dental desert Portsmouth has become.
It follows the dental academy’s £5m upgrade to its facilities to enhance student learning and experience through modern practical teaching.
The Dental Academy, based at the University of Portsmouth, is a modern, primary-care based school that trains General Dental Council-registered and qualified dental care professionals, and offers comprehensive oral and dental healthcare to Portsmouth people.
Students train in practice teams using modern clinical facilities that replicate those found in real NHS dental practices.
Mr Morgan toured the new facilities with senior representatives from the Department and had the opportunity to test state of the art equipment used by students as part of their learning.
Mr Morgan previously welcomed the news that the Dental Academy would be reopening and continuing to provide dental healthcare to those in Portsmouth who desperately need it. He now plans to continue working with the University to secure a dental school to train homegrown dentists in the city.
It follows his extensive actions lobbying the Government to address the dental desert Portsmouth has become, including launching a Portsmouth patient survey; raising local issues in Parliament; as well as writing to Ministers to call for action on funding, recruitment, and retention in the sector.
Commenting following the visit, the City MP Stephen Morgan said:
“I welcome the reopening of Portsmouth’s Dental Academy which will enable the University of Portsmouth to continue playing its part in training dental staff of the future, as well as providing immediate care to those in Portsmouth who desperately need it.
“Unfortunately our city has paid the price for the Government’s continued failure to reform the dental contract, in addition to their chronic underfunding that has led to a crisis in recruitment and retention.
“Under a Labour Government – being unable to find a dentist will be the exception, rather than the rule. We will take immediate action to fix the dental desert Portsmouth has become through our dentistry rescue plan, which will see an influx of dentists to the areas most in need”
Labour is promising to take immediate action to provide care for those in most urgent need, and long-term reform to restore NHS dentistry to all who need it. The party’s plans include:
- Funding NHS dental practices to provide 700,000 more urgent appointments, for patients in need of things like fillings and root canal.
- Incentives for new dentists to work in areas with the greatest need, to tackle the emergence of ‘dental deserts’ where no NHS dentists are taking on new patients.
- Supervised toothbrushing in schools for 3-5 year olds, targeted at the areas with highest childhood tooth decay
- Reform the dental contract to rebuild the service in the long-run, so NHS dentistry is there for all who need it
The plans will cost £111 million a year in total and be funded by abolishing the non-dom tax status, which allows people who live and work in Britain to pay their taxes overseas.