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Portsmouth MP grills Minister for ‘dental desert’ city has become

Stephen Morgan MP has attacked the government during a debate in the House of Commons for the ‘dental desert’ the city has become as he continues to speak up over the lack of access to NHS services in the constituency

Portsmouth continues to face historic challenges in access to NHS dentistry, with research by the Association of Dental Groups (ADG) showing that Portsmouth area has the 7th lowest amount of NHS dentists per 100,000 in the country, at 42.

The City MP also said during the parliamentary debate on Tuesday, that “Tory Ministers have claimed the additional £6.8 million of piecemeal funding for dentistry in the region will help, but during the local dentistry forum I convened with practitioners and representatives…they made it clear it doesn’t even begin to meet the scale of the challenge.”

Sharing a response to a dental survey he has encouraged local people to complete, the Portsmouth South MP also explained during the debate how one family had to travel to Watford every six months for dental check-ups, with no option to register with an NHS dentist in Portsmouth.

The latest action by Mr Morgan follows a range of interventions he’s been making to lobby for access to quality local health services.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan MP, said:

“The disgraceful mismanagement and chronic underfunding of our NHS by the last twelve years of this Tory government has left Portsmouth to become a dental desert.

“It is clear Ministers are happy to simply paper over the cracks, rather than engage with the scale of the challenge at hand, clear the backlog and deliver the dental services my constituents need and deserve.

“I have been doing all I can to push decision-makers on this and to end the crisis. I have met with NHS commissioners, spoken up in debates in Parliament and questioned ministers, hosted an online forum with local dentists to hear views and ideas, met with the BDA and local dental committee, raised concerns in the local and national media and liaised with Healthwatch England and Healthwatch Portsmouth to understand patients’ views. I also launched a survey to hear the views of local residents alongside taking on casework of constituents. 

“I will continue to raise our city’s concerns with decision-makers and call on Ministers to intervene urgently to deliver the dental services my constituents need and deserve”.