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Toothless in Suffolk campaigners hail victory for county’s children

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save NHS dental care in Suffolk hailed yesterday a potentially landmark deal to secure “real improvements to dental provision in the county.”

Toothless in Suffolk told the Morning Star that pressure from activists has forced integrated care board commissioners to commit to treating children, homeless people and the most vulnerable. 

At a meeting last Thursday, officials agreed to set up a new mobile unit to tour the county and treat those most in need, said the campaign group, which works closely with the British Dental Association.

The deal, set to be enacted in January next year, also includes a dedicated 111 service to direct people to an emergency dentist, campaigners announced.

Additionally, officials pledged to look into the feasibility of appointing a mobile dentist who can operate between hospitals, while the county will soon be offering “new improved” contracts to attract dentists to recommence NHS work, they added. 

The austerity-hit service has been losing practitioners to the private sector in their hundreds in recent years, leaving many parts of Britain with a dwindling number of affordable dentists.

Toothless campaigner Steve Marsling told the Star: “This is an example of what extra-parliamentary action can do.

“The campaign has had little or no help from the central or local representatives of the Establishment political parties.

“Toothless is a grassroots movement that has forced its way into the spotlight and now its pressure is making real advance possible.

“We have to fight for our NHS and a dental service for everyone as part of it — we will keep fighting.”

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