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City MP welcomes reopening of University of Portsmouth Dental Academy

By 8 December 2023No Comments

Stephen Morgan MP has welcomed the reopening of University of Portsmouth’s Dental Academy, following a £5m upgrade to its facilities to enhance student learning and experience through modern practical teaching. 

The Dental Academy is a modern, primary care-based school that educates dental nurses, hygienists and therapists for General Dental Council registration as dental care professionals. 

Students train in practice teams using modern clinical facilities that replicate those found in real NHS dental practices. The school offers comprehensive oral and dental healthcare to the public, delivered predominantly by students in state-of-the-art facilities. 

Mr Morgan has said the school provides a vital service as the city suffers from a dental desert with some of the lowest rates of dental provision in the country. 

Recent British Dental Association analysis revealed how this pain and distress continues to impact Portsmouth people, with only 36.4% of children seen by an NHS dentist and just 31.5% of adults. 

In May 2022 The Association of Dental Groups also found that Portsmouth had the seventh lowest number of NHS dentists per 100,000 in the country, at 42. 

The City MP has been very vocal in his lobbying of the Government to tackle this crisis taking a range of actions to improve access to local services, as well as calling on the Government to back Labour’s plan to tackle long-standing problems with burnout, recruitment and retention of the workforce in NHS dental services. 

Labour’s policy has committed to: 

  • provide an extra 700,000 urgent dental appointments and reform the NHS dental contract 
  • offer incentives for new dentists to work in areas with the greatest need, so that those who need an appointment will be able to get one 
  • introduce supervised toothbrushing in schools for 3-5 year olds, targeted at the areas with highest childhood tooth decay 
  • shift the focus to prevention, so that in the long term, everyone who needs NHS dentistry can access it 

These changes would be implemented by a Labour government alongside it’s mission to build an NHS fit for the future, set to benefit Portsmouth residents suffering because of the dental and GP crisis in the city. 

Commenting, Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan said: 

”I welcome the University of Portsmouth’s dental school reopening to resume teaching of our city’s future dental workforce while serving the health needs of our community.  

“Portsmouth people have suffered far too long due to the lack of availability of dental services in our city. In addition to training future dental staff in Portsmouth, much more must be done to ensure every person our city has the dental care they need and deserve.

“An incoming Labour Government will not stand for people in Portsmouth and across our country being denied basic healthcare.

“We will provide 700,000 more appointments a year to those in the most urgent need, recruiting more dentists to areas with the most severe shortages, such as Portsmouth.” 

Mr Morgan is spending time on the frontline in our city’s health and social care services to hear first-hand the impact of the crisis in NHS dentistry and the dental desert Portsmouth has become, frequently raising issues in Parliament with ministers including the crisis in recruitment and retention to improve local services.