THOU­SANDS OF CHIL­DREN FAIL To SEE DEN­TIST

Glossop Advertiser - - Front Page - Joseph Hook news­desk@men-news.co.uk

THOU­SANDS of chil­dren across Greater Manch­ester are fail­ing to make reg­u­lar den­tal ap­point­ments.

More than 40,000 chil­dren in Manch­ester alone have not seen an NHS den­tist in the last year, ac­cord­ing to newly-re­leased fig­ures.

The Bri­tish Den­tal As­so­ci­a­tion has ac­cused the gov­ern­ment of an un­will­ing­ness to en­gage with hardto-reach fam­i­lies, say­ing it could save money through ear­lier in­ter­ven­tion.

Data from the NHS shows just 64 per cent of chil­dren in Manch­ester saw an NHS den­tist in the 12 months to June 2018, though this is more than the 59pc av­er­age across Eng­land. It means 42,874 chil­dren in the area have not been for their check-up over the pe­riod, de­spite NHS guide­lines say­ing they should be seen ev­ery 12 months. NHS den­tal care for chil­dren is free.

The fig­ures also show that more than 20,000 chil­dren in Sal­ford and 15,000 in Rochdale have not seen an NHS den­tist in the last year.

The BDA has called on au­thor­i­ties in Eng­land to fol­low the ex­am­ple of the de­volved Scot­tish and Welsh gov­ern­ments, who have set up pro­grammes reach­ing out to chil­dren in schools.

The BDA’s chair of gen­eral den­tal prac­tice, Hen­rik Over­gaardNielsen, said that cur­rent outreach pro­grammes were more likely to tar­get peo­ple who al­ready visit their den­tist.

He said: “Sadly, the gov­ern­ment has shown no in­ter­est in get­ting hard-to-reach fam­i­lies to at­tend, when preven­tion could save our NHS mil­lions. In Scot­land and Wales, ded­i­cated na­tional pro­grammes are reach­ing out in nurs­eries and pri­mary schools, yet in Eng­land the au­thor­i­ties have of­fered a few posters in den­tal prac­tices.

“When tooth de­cay re­mains the num­ber one rea­son for child hos­pi­tal ad­mis­sions, we need more than preach­ing to the con­verted.”

Fig­ures show that one in two five-year-olds in Manch­ester in­spected in the 2016-17 aca­demic year had ex­pe­ri­enced tooth de­cay.

A spokesman for the Depart­ment of Health and So­cial Care said: “We want ev­ery sin­gle child and adult to have ac­cess to NHS care, what­ever their back­ground or lo­ca­tion – and last year a record 6.9 mil­lion chil­dren were seen by a den­tist, with num­bers ris­ing ev­ery year.”

More than 20,000 chil­dren in Sal­ford did not see a den­tist in the last year

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.