Stockton North MP, Alex Cunningham, is to hold a public meeting in Billingham to discuss NHS dental provision.
The meeting – called following the announcement that Queensway Dental Clinic in Billingham is to cease taking NHS patients – will be held on 19 February at St. Luke’s Church, on Low Grange Avenue, and is an opportunity for constituents to speak to Alex about their experiences in registering for a NHS dentist. Representatives from the British Dental Association (BDA) and Stockton Borough Council will be in attendance, and an invitation has also been extended to NHS England.
Last week, Alex wrote to the Health Secretary to seek assurances that NHS dentistry was sufficiently supported to meet demand, ask whether fee structures will be reviewed, and ask what the government is doing to increase capacity.
Since Queensway’s announcement, I have been approached by a number of constituents concerned by the shortage of NHS dentistry provision. Despite reassurances that there are dentists taking on NHS patients, it is clear that many people are struggling to find a place, that some people are being forced to make difficult journeys to get to one, and that some dentists only take NHS patients with caveats.
This public meeting is an opportunity for constituents to tell me their experiences of registering with a NHS, and hopefully be provided with an up to date list of dentists taking on NHS patients. I’d encourage as many people as possible to attend, so that I can hear their views.
The public meeting will be held at St. Luke’s Church, Low Grange Avenue, on 19 February at 6.30pm.