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West Norfolk dental crisis 'made worse' by Covid', MP warns

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Access to dental services in West Norfolk has been made even worse by the impact of the coronavirus crisis, a borough MP has warned.

James Wild said it was "crystal clear" that provision in the North West Norfolk constituency isn't good enough during a Commons debate on the issue on Thursday.

And he called for money made available by the closure of a Lynn dentist in the autumn to be used on developing new services in the area.

A dentist at work (34745365)
A dentist at work (34745365)

Mr Wild told the debate that early results of a survey which is being conducted on his website suggested a bad situation before the pandemic has become even worse now.

He said: "Prior to Covid, my constituency had the highest population per dentist across Norfolk and Waveney.

"West Norfolk was the second lowest area for dental activity actually delivered in the country, with only 65% of contracted activity carried out, and it had the highest percentage of patients who were unsuccessful when trying to get an NHS dental appointment.

James Wild MP
James Wild MP

"During the pandemic, access to services has become even more severely limited.

"It is crystal clear that the level of provision in North West Norfolk is simply not good enough."

Mr Wild acknowledged the progress that had been made in some areas, such as the opening of a new practice in Marham.

But he added: "What my constituents really want is a commitment to short, medium and long-term improvements, so they can actually see a dentist.

"My Dentist in King’s Lynn high street closed in November, and the money for that should be used to recommission services locally."

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