Dozens of Milton Keynes children having rotten teeth extracted in hospital

It comes as families struggle to find an NHS dentist in Milton Keynes, claim councillors.

By Sally Murrer
Thursday, 7th July 2022, 11:41 am

New figures show 70 children under the age of 11 were admitted to hospital for tooth extraction over the past year.

And, according to the British Dentistry Association, emergency teeth extractions are now the most common reason for children to go to hospital.

This week Labour councillors in Milton Keynes are demanding the government brings forward a plan to ensure everyone who needs an NHS dentist can access one.

Children are having to go to hospital to have teeth extracted because NHS dentists are almost impossible to find in Milton Keynes

Cllr Emily Darlington, Cabinet member for Healthy Communities, said: “Backlog Britain is holding Milton Keynes back and our children are paying the prices. From GPs and A&E to courts, passports and driving licences our country is stuck in a queue. And now we know that children in MK are ending up in hospital because they can’t get the dental treatment they need."

The Citizen reported last September how not a single dentist in Milton Keynes borough area was accepting new adult NHS patients and only one was taking new child NHS patients.

Healthwatch, which is the statutory, independent public champion for people receiving health services in MK, say they have received numerous complaints from members of the public unable to access dental care and unable to afford private dentistry.

Last year Healthwatch officials wrote to city MPs Iain Stewart and Ben Everitt to complain about the serious lack of local NHS dental provision. But it seems the situation has not improved.

Cllr Darlington said: “We need a government that will prioritise the health and well-being of children and families in Milton Keynes. Instead we have a Conservative Government too mired in scandal and fighting amongst themselves to act.”

Labour claims dentists are “quitting in droves” nationally after 12 years of “Tory mismanagement of the health service”. They say 2,000 dentists quit the NHS last year, which is around 10% of all dentists employed in England.

Nationally, an estimated four million people can’t access NHS dental care and some parts of the country, including MK, are now described as ‘dentistry deserts’, it is so impossible to find NHS provision.

Labour MP Wes Streeting, Shadow Health and Social Care Secretary, said: “What kind of country have we become, when children are forced to attend hospital to have their teeth removed?