The British Dental Association (BDA) has urged Jeremy Hunt, the newly elected Chair of the Health and Social Care Committee, to press ahead with the inquiry into dentistry left unfinished by 2019’s snap general election.
In an open letter, dentist leaders have called on the former Health Secretary to build on the legacy of written evidence from the inquiry launched by his predecessor, Dr Sarah Wollaston.
Over 100 organisations and individuals submitted evidence to the inquiry, but a follow up hearing had not taken place at the time Parliament was dissolved on 6 November, when all Select Committees ceased to operate, and all active inquiries were closed.
The inquiry was called last July in the wake of mounting access problems in NHS dentistry, fuelled by huge recruitment and retention challenges across the service.
BDA Chair Mick Armstrong said: “We welcome Mr Hunt to his new role, and first order of business must be getting this inquiry back on track.
“The government is putting NHS funding and the workforce centre stage, but dentistry remains the missing piece.
"The new chair already has the evidence to hand. Our patients are facing a service on the brink, struggling with failed contracts and underfunding.
"The committee must take this opportunity to provide urgent scrutiny."