Call for Yeovil dental summit

The Yeovil Labour Party is calling for a “summit meeting” to discuss the lack of NHS dental provision in the constituency. The call comes from Terry Ledlie, Chair of Yeovil Constituency Labour Party. He is asking MP Marcus Fysh to join a summit with dental practices, the NHS and patient’s representatives to try to find a way forward.

Mr Ledlie says: “The background is that most dentists in our area still provide NHS care. However they have stopped taking on new patients. This mirrors the trend across the UK. NHS dentists in England saw 29.6 million patients in 2011/2012. This fell to 22.1 million in 2021/2022.”
He says that many people are facing soaring costs. They have to choose between going private and having to travel longer distances to see an NHS dentist. They also report that it is leading to many people simply dropping out of dental care.

Labour says their research suggests there are 15 dental surgeries in the constituency that still do some NHS work. Mr ledlie notes: “If even a couple of them could be persuaded to take on an extra member of staff to deliver NHS treatment, then the pressure in our area would be greatly reduced.”

Mr Ledlie has written to Marcus Fysh asking him to:

  • make representations to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Health, asking them to address this national problem
  • join me in trying to bring together the key local stakeholders to seek a way to alleviate the problem here in Yeovil Constituency.


  • We moved to Yeovil three years ago, tried most dentists to be taken on as a NHS patient but nothing available, Being pensioners private is out of the question, now we do a 280 mile round trip to visit our old dentist this we incorporate with visiting family. Anything to sort this terrible situation out.

  • I have been supergluing my teeth in for the last 3 years. On a pure liquid diet as unable to eat. Weight loss and since using glue palpitations and shortness of breath. I cannot afford private dental care as I am the main earner due to husbands Ill health. I have tried dentists in a 40 mile radius for NHS treatment without success. I have worked since I was 16 years old I have paid into the system for all those years yet can get help? I don’t laugh I don’t smile and I constantly have a very sore mouth due to glue burning. It affects my mental health my confidence and my ability to eat. Absolutely disgusting when you have paid into the system as I have for all those years to be told unless you pay you won’t be seen. I do not have the money to go private everything has gone up yet my wage stays the same and doesn’t meet today’s inflation costs. It is so wrong and people like me are suffering

  • I recognise that some of the problem is government funding but if even a couple of practices were to employ an extra dentist to do NHS work, this would allow all those in Yeovil and the surrounding area to get dental treatment. I’ve yet to meet a dentist who is only in it for the money so come on local dentists, will you rise to the challenge?

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