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Concerns over degradation of dental services in Wellington

A shortage of NHS dentists is causing serious concern for a growing number of Wellington residents.

Rebecca Kemp, who has a 6-year-old daughter with diabetes, says the lack of readily available and affordable dentists is a major problem.

She said: ‘My daughter has type 1 diabetes and I had to pay for a checkup as I can’t find an NHS dentist anywhere.

Sarah Shelley, who also lives in Wellington, said: ‘Every time I remind our MP about this – in the last 18 months – I’m told she’s looking into it. I was also given contact details for finding an NHS dentist. When I contacted the three contacts she provided, they just said sorry, we can’t help you!

According to a report by the Association of Dental Groups, there is a growing problem with access to dentistry. The organization says: ‘The impact on patients is clear, as every time a dentist leaves the NHS and is not replaced, around 2,000 patients could lose access to NHS care. This means that the loss of more than 2,000 NHS dentists could lead to the loss of access to NHS care for more than 4 million people.

Rebecca Kemp added: “I’ve worked all my life and paid taxes. I’ve had to reschedule the next appointment as I can’t afford it at the moment. My daughter also has celiac disease which can cause problems with his tooth enamel. I really hope that the problem can be solved as soon as possible.

A total of £4.7million in additional funding was allocated to the South West region in January to help deal with the crisis, but many believe the situation has not improved.

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