BDA slam public health cuts announcement

The British Dental Association (BDA) has revealed its displeasure at the news that the Government plan to proceed with £85 million worth of cuts to public health grants, which will have a massive impact on oral health services.

Local authorities across England are responsible for public health, but dental industry leaders believe councils are being denied the resources they need to help make an effective stand against preventable conditions such as tooth decay and obesity.

Official statistics have revealed that 130 out of 152 local authorities (85 per cent) had their public health budgets reduced during 2018/19. Further investigation from the Kings Fund found the biggest area for cuts has been miscellaneous services including dental public health.

Paediatric tooth extractions have cost the NHS £205 million since 2012 with tooth decay the number one reason for hospital admissions amongst young children. Effective investment in early year’s oral health programmes in Scotland has shaved millions off treatment costs, but the majority of local authorities in England have lacked the resources to embrace similar models.

British Dental Association Chair Mick Armstrong said: “Matt Hancock says he wants prevention to be the focus of a 21st century NHS. Public health should be the foundation for that approach, but in place of investment, Westminster has simply devolved savage cuts.

“Starving local authorities of needed resources is hopelessly short-sighted, and is only piling pressure on NHS services.”

David Jacobs, Partner at Milsted Langdon said: “The cuts to local authorities’ public health budgets will likely have a significant effect on the ability of dental practices to implement key prevention programmes towards their patients.

If you are likely to be directly affected by the announcement and are unsure about your financial options then it is important that you seek specialist advice.

Our specialist Healthcare team provides professional accountancy and tax advice to dentists. To find out how we can help, call David on 0117 945 2500 or send him an email today.

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