Responding to the reports that 1 in 4 new patients not currently on the books with an NHS dentist have tried and failed to secure an appointment due to recruitment problems, Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Judith Jolly said:
"This statistic is appalling and should be to Matt Hancock and those in the Conservative Government. As we see more and more dentists leave the NHS, it is clear that it is part of the wider NHS struggles to hire and retain staff.
One of the key problems with the NHS ten year plan was that it was completely undermined by a lack of serious workforce planning. The failure of the Tories to tackle the problems in recruitment and retention, in dentistry and across health professionals, is frankly unacceptable. Especially, considering over 26,000 children aged 5 to 9 were admitted to hospital due to tooth decay in 2017-18.
It is clear the Tories are letting people down and Liberal Democrats demand better. That is why the Liberal Democrats would produce a national workforce strategy so we would never again see the shortages in dentists we are experiencing today."
Bolton & Undercliffe by-election candidate Rachel Sunderland said:
"It is not acceptable for so many to struggle to secure NHS dental appointments and people across Bradford are being let down. The knock-on effects can be severe, so we will be demanding better funding and planning in this area."