On 13 December 2023, the President of the College, Dr Abhi Pal, participated in a roundtable meeting with the newly appointed Minister for Primary Care, Andrea Leadsom MP.

Held at the Department of Health and Social Care, the meeting had been called by the newly-appointed Minister to outline her priorities for NHS dentistry in England – ensuring access for urgent dental care and increasing preventative activities such as perinatal advice and supervised toothbrushing schemes – and to hear the profession’s suggested solutions to the problems facing patients and NHS providers.

A wide range of stakeholders were present and discussed the critical need for contract reform as well as the delayed Dental Recovery Plan amongst other issues. On behalf of the College, Dr Pal made the case that the NHS needs to focus on arresting the exodus of the existing dental workforce and on increasing its appeal to newly-qualified professionals and those from overseas, and that to do this it needs to offer more attractive prospects by supporting a formal career progression framework for all those delivering NHS primary dental care. 

A general dental practitioner and principal of an NHS-contracted dental practices in Edgbaston and Derbyshire, Dr Pal has previously given evidence on NHS dentistry to the House of Commons Health and Social Care Select Committee, taken part in a meeting on access to careers and progression in dentistry at 10 Downing Street and addressed the House of Lords Committee on the Integration of Primary and Community Care

It is understood that the Minister will continue to engage with the profession through quarterly meetings.

Sign up to our monthly newsletter