"The lack of NHS dental provision has become an increasing issue here in East Suffolk – and I’ve escalated my concerns to the Primary Care Minister and fellow Suffolk MP, Jo Churchill. At the beginning of the year, I met NHS England’s Head of Commissioning, David Barter. We discussed NHS England’s plan for a new dental strategy which, in the long-term, will increase access to dentists, reworking the finances to stop practices turning down patients who require more complex dental work and upskill practitioners to address the long-term recruitment problems across the East of England.
Following notification that the MyDentist in Leiston planned to close its doors, I was also promised that NHS England would be providing additional contractual activity to other nearby dental practices to enable them to see displaced patients with the long-term plan to bring in new providers to the area. I’m disappointed that this has not yet happened – and I completely understand the frustration of patients who have written to me on this issue. Currently, NHS 111 can help with urgent dental enquiries and should direct to an emergency practice but it is not acceptable to have to travel to Bury St Edmunds, Colchester or Lowestoft to seek routine dental provision. I have made this clear to the Head of Commissioning and the Health Minister and will keep pressing the case until capacity has been increased locally.
Finally, last Friday, I spoke, once again, at the Planning Inquiry determining Scottish Power Renewables’ application for huge substations at Friston and the associated cabling corridor from Thorpeness. If approved, the proposal would have a devastating impact on the local area including elements of the AONB. I reiterated the government’s emerging policy framework, which commits to greater offshore coordination to protect our environment. I’m firmly of the belief that the onshore aspects of these projects must be rejected in favour of a grid connection which offers the capacity to integrate multiple projects without having a devastating impact on local communities and our precious landscapes."