Liberal Democrats in Oldham have slammed the government for issuing a claim that the number of NHS dentists grew by 500 last year.
Oldham’s Liberal Democrat Leader councillor Howard Sykes MBE has hit out at statement from the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), reported by the Oldham Times on September 21st. The Government spokesperson claimed: ”The number of dentists practising in the NHS increased by over 500 last year.”
The statement, which reportedly came via a DHSC representative, appeared to contradict official data released by the department earlier this year, which revealed that the number of NHS dentists had fallen by more than 900 across England.
Councillor Howard Sykes MBE said: “NHS dentistry is in crisis. Less than four in ten people in Oldham who need an appointment actually get one, we know that one in five of those waiting for care are resorting to DIY dentistry and now we have the Government is telling us in September that the number of dentists is up by 500 when in July they said that they were down by nearly 1,000. Which is it?”
“This is really basic stuff. We expect Health Officials to at least have a handle on the facts. These dodgy figures are just the latest bluff from a government which is way out of its depth and lurching from crisis to crisis.”