Seeing a dentist during Covid: NHS England lobbied over children's dental health

The government has been urged to make sure children in the care system are getting adequate dental treatment.

Monday, 2nd November 2020, 9:03 am
Updated Monday, 2nd November 2020, 9:06 am
Lockdown has limited people's access to dentists.

Studies have shown that children in the care of the local authority are more likely to have problems with their teeth, often because of past neglect.

But with the coronavirus pandemic limiting normal access to dentists, concerns have been raised that some youngsters may not be getting the treatment they need.

Wakefield Council says it has contacted health authorities over the issue.

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Labour councillor Stuart Heptinstall raised the issue at a meeting on Friday.

Speaking at a scrutiny meeting on Thursday morning, local councillor Stuart Heptinstall said: "It looks like Covid-19 will be with us for a while now, certainly until after Christmas.

"Is anything being done to promote children getting into dental practices for check-ups, especially given that children's teeth are susceptible to decay quicker than adults' teeth?"

In response, the head of the local authority's children in care service, Cheryl Whitehouse, said the issue had been "escalated to NHS England with a view to trying to put something together".

"Often the children who come into our care, (their teeth) are significantly neglected," she said.

"We've challenged over this and said it's really important that our vulnerable children continue to get that dental intervention.

"I'm just waiting on some feedback on how we can progress that."

Local Democracy Reporting Service